Explanatory notes for Act 3, Scene 3
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
There is nothing but Shakespeare in this scene, for only he could so perfectly burlesque the brilliant love scene which has
just preceded it. Jaques has found another pair to watch with cynical eye.
Line 1. Audrey: short for Ethelreda. The adjective tawdry has
interesting derivation from the fact that all sorts of gewgaws were
sold at St. Audrey's fair.
3. feature: Touchstone means his figure but Audrey evidently
never heard the word.
6. goats: This gives Touchstone an opportunity to pun on
capricious and Goths, which was pronounced then so that it had
the sound of goats.
7. capricious: derived from Latin caper, goat; therefore,
changeable. Ovid: Roman poet who wrote "Metamorphoses,"
one of the most familiar of which is the story of Pyramus and
Thisbe used by Shakespeare in "Midsummer Night's Dream."
9. ill-inhabited: poorly housed.
10. Jove ... house: This refers to the story of Philemon
and Baucis when Jupiter and Mercury were given the best the
humble house contained, even though their hosts did not recog
13. great ... room: a large bill of entertainment in a small
inn. [It is argued that Shakespeare here alludes to the death of Christopher Marlowe. Please click here for more.]
16. Audrey, munching an apple of which fruit her pockets
seem to be full, stops with open mouth at the unfamiliar word.
18. truest ... feigning: Shakespeare liked to make gentle
fun of his own art. feigning: pretending.
28. hard-favored: harsh-featured.
31. material: full of matter.
34. foul: Touchstone means dirty, but Audrey below means
41. Sir Oliver: Sir was often used of clergymen by Shakespeare.
53. On the principle that he is suspicious of anything given
57. Does Touchstone recognize Jaques? Notice his apology for Audrey and his change of manner when Jaques comes forward.
58. God ... you: God yield you.
60. covered: put on your hat.
65. This advice from Jaques has its amusing side.
71. What kind of love has Touchstone for Audrey?
80. These are verses from an old song.
87. Sir Oliver is no fool as his last speech shows.
1. Audrey comes in eating apples and tossing them to Touchstone. Picture the scene and describe Audrey.
2. What does Jaques enjoy most? Why does he follow Touchstone and scorn Orlando?
3. What is the purpose of the scene? Why is the marriage
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_3_3.html >.