Explanatory notes for Act 3, Scene 5
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
Shakespeare follows the novel here, but subordinates Phebe. Rosalind seizes at once this opportunity to indulge her desire
to act her part.
Line 5. Falls: lets fall.
7. dies and lives: Certainly a peculiar order but the meaning
is clear enough.
11. Phebe adopts irony as the surest means of making herself
13. who: indicates personification.
23. cicatrice: mark. capable impressure: impression that
can be seen.
29. fancy: love.
31. love's keen arrows: Can you see Cupid?
33. Phebe seems to court love's wounds and they come at
36. all at once: all at the same time.
39. dark: in the dark.
40. These questions give us the key to Phebe's change of expression.
43. sale-work: ready-made. Note Rosalind's enjoyment
of the oath she uses.
47. bugle: like a black bead.
50. A perfect simile.
51. properer: handsomer.
59. friendly: like a friend.
61. Cry: ask.
62. The ugly person is the most ugly to one who scorns.
74. tuft of olives: We are reminded of the palm-tree which we
have already found in this strange forest.
80. Dead shepherd: The dead shepherd was Christopher
Marlowe, the father of English tragedy, and creator of English
blank verse, who was born in 1564, the same year with Shakespeare, and who died in 1593, six or seven years before the composition of "As You Like It." The saw is from one of Marlowe's poems.
88. extermined: exterminated.
92. The line means: "And even now I do not really love
94. erst: once.
99. grace: favor.
107. carlot: peasant.
108. The speech which follows again illustrates Shakespeare's
skill in introducing a description of one character through the
words of another.
109. peevish: silly.
120. lusty: lively.
122. constant: uniform. Has Rosalind, upon learning that
Orlando is in the forest, washed the umber off?
124. in parcels: bit by bit.
132. omittance is no quittance: an old proverb.
137. passing: exceedingly.
1. Do you like Silvius as a lover or do you sympathize with
2. Why does Rosalind take a hand in this love affair?
3. Does she direct her invitation to Silvius or to Phebe?
4. Why does she change her attitude towards Silvius?
5. Describe Rosalind in detail as Phebe does.
6. Do you anticipate the letter?
7. Why is this scene put in here?
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_5.html >.