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As You Like It

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ACT III  SCENE IV The forest. 
ROSALINDNever talk to me; I will weep.
CELIADo, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider
that tears do not become a man.
ROSALINDBut have I not cause to weep?
CELIAAs good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.
ROSALINDHis very hair is of the dissembling colour.
CELIASomething browner than Judas's marry, his kisses are
Judas's own children.
ROSALINDI' faith, his hair is of a good colour.
CELIAAn excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.10
ROSALINDAnd his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch
of holy bread.
CELIAHe hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana: a nun
of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously;
the very ice of chastity is in them.
ROSALINDBut why did he swear he would come this morning, and
comes not?
CELIANay, certainly, there is no truth in him.20
ROSALINDDo you think so?
CELIAYes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a
horse-stealer, but for his verity in love, I do
think him as concave as a covered goblet or a
worm-eaten nut.
ROSALINDNot true in love?
CELIAYes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.
ROSALINDYou have heard him swear downright he was.
CELIA'Was' is not 'is:' besides, the oath of a lover is
no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are
both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends
here in the forest on the duke your father.31
ROSALINDI met the duke yesterday and had much question with
him: he asked me of what parentage I was; I told
him, of as good as he; so he laughed and let me go.
But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a
man as Orlando?
CELIAO, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses,
speaks brave words, swears brave oaths and breaks
them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of
his lover; as a puisny tilter, that spurs his horse
but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble
goose: but all's brave that youth mounts and folly
guides. Who comes here?42
[Enter CORIN]
CORINMistress and master, you have oft inquired
After the shepherd that complain'd of love,
Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
That was his mistress.
CELIAWell, and what of him?
CORINIf you will see a pageant truly play'd,
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,50
Go hence a little and I shall conduct you,
If you will mark it.
ROSALINDO, come, let us remove:
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
Bring us to this sight, and you shall say
I'll prove a busy actor in their play.

Next: As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 5

Explanatory notes for Act 3, Scene 4
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

This scene probably takes place the morning after the second scene of this act. Rosalind is almost in tears at the non-appearance of her lover, but Celia, with delightful tact, diverts her.

Line 7. dissembling color: A person with red hair was supposed to be deceitful and treacherous. The comparison to Judas's hair in the next line carries on the idea, for Judas is said to have had red hair and all paintings of him show that.

10. Note how quickly Rosalind defends Orlando when he is criticized.

14. holy bread: the bread used at the sacrament.

15. cast: cast off.

22. pick-up purse: pick-pocket.

23. verity: honor.

28. tapster: anyone employed to draw liquor and therefore one who might cheat in his reckoning.

32. This charming indifference to her father shows how completely Rosalind is in love.

39. quite traverse: across, which showed awkwardness on the part of the tilter or fighter.

40. puisny: inferior or weak.

48. pageant: scene, as in "Midsummer Night's Dream," "Shall we their fond pageant see?"

49. pale complexion: the proper color for a true lover.

55. A bit of foreshadowing here.


1. What is the purpose of the scene?

2. Is Celia a good comforter? Why?

3. Why did the Duke ask Rosalind about her parentage?

4. Why does Rosalind wish to see the pageant?

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) < >.


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