Explanatory notes for Act 1, Scene 3
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
Rosalind, already in love, must endure the lively teasing of Celia. Duke Frederick, with a frowning face, spoils this charming dialogue and pronounces banishment upon his niece. The sentence does not weigh very heavily, however, for the two girls
excitedly plan their escape to enchanted Arden — and "content."
Line 1. Cupid: Why the god of love just here?
5. lame me: Celia does like puns.
6. reasons: talk.
13. burs: Note that Celia's quick wit carries the briers over
18. Hem ... away: suggests that the burs are in her
19. Now Rosalind takes her turn at a play upon words in
hem and him.
21. wrestle: Celia is a tease as well as a wit.
31. By ... chase: By this reasoning.
32. dearly: here deeply.
38. Celia recognizes the outward signs of wrath, for she has
seen them often enough.
61. purgation: a legal term meaning a clearing of one's self
56. likelihood: likeness.
64. Dear sovereign: Note the formal address.
66. ranged: gone.
68. remorse: pity.
70-74. A picture of loyal friendship which is to continue to
the end of the play.
72. eat. Look the word up in the dictionary especially as to
its use and pronunciation here.
73. Juno's swans: Shakespeare probably means "Venus's
swans" as Juno's chariot was drawn by peacocks.
81. irrevocable: not to be recalled. Be sure of the pronunciation.
83. What is Celia's action here?
110. umber: a brown earth used by artists both in its raw
state and burned. It is a reddish color.
116. curtle-axe: short sword. Action here.
118. swashing: swaggering.
120. outface: face it out. semblances: outside appearances.
123. Ganymede: a beautiful boy whom Jupiter loved and
carried off to be his page. Look up the story.
126. Aliena: from the Latin meaning stranger.
127. assayed: tried.
136. The closing scene of a somewhat tumultuous act ends on
the word content, which argues a happier time about to come.
Orlando utters it as he leaves his brother's house and the exiled
Duke has already found it in Arden.
1. In the sparkling wit of this chatter there lies a deeper
meaning. What is it?
2. What is the real reason for the banishment of Rosalind?
3. Is this the first time that Celia has had reason to be
ashamed of her father? Has she been loyal to him?
4. What new traits are developed in Rosalind?
5. How does the Duke really feel towards Celia?
6. Discuss his character.
7. What great changes have entered Rosalind's life since
8. It does not take long for Rosalind and Celia to recover from
the shock of the sentence of banishment. How do you account
for their gayety?
9. Which is the leader now?
10. There are many lines in the scene worth remembering.
Select at least five.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. Eds. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/asu_1_3.html >.