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As You Like It

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ACT I  SCENE III A room in the palace. 
CELIAWhy, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy! not a word?
ROSALINDNot one to throw at a dog.
CELIANo, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon
curs; throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.
ROSALINDThen there were two cousins laid up; when the one
should be lamed with reasons and the other mad
without any.
CELIABut is all this for your father?10
ROSALINDNo, some of it is for my child's father. O, how
full of briers is this working-day world!
CELIAThey are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in
holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden
paths our very petticoats will catch them.
ROSALINDI could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.
CELIAHem them away.
ROSALINDI would try, if I could cry 'hem' and have him.20
CELIACome, come, wrestle with thy affections.
ROSALINDO, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself!
CELIAO, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in
despite of a fall. But, turning these jests out of
service, let us talk in good earnest: is it
possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so
strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?
ROSALINDThe duke my father loved his father dearly.29
CELIADoth it therefore ensue that you should love his son
dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him,
for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate
not Orlando.
ROSALINDNo, faith, hate him not, for my sake.
CELIAWhy should I not? doth he not deserve well?
ROSALINDLet me love him for that, and do you love him
because I do. Look, here comes the duke.37
CELIAWith his eyes full of anger.
[Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords]
DUKE FREDERICKMistress, dispatch you with your safest haste
And get you from our court.
ROSALINDMe, uncle?
Within these ten days if that thou be'st found

So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.
ROSALINDI do beseech your grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me:
If with myself I hold intelligence
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires,
If that I do not dream or be not frantic,--
As I do trust I am not--then, dear uncle,
Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your highness.
DUKE FREDERICKThus do all traitors:50
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself:
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
ROSALINDYet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor:
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.
DUKE FREDERICKThou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.
ROSALINDSo was I when your highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your highness banish'd him:
Treason is not inherited, my lord;
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,60
What's that to me? my father was no traitor:
Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
To think my poverty is treacherous.
CELIADear sovereign, hear me speak.
DUKE FREDERICKAy, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake,
Else had she with her father ranged along.
CELIAI did not then entreat to have her stay;
It was your pleasure and your own remorse:
I was too young that time to value her;
But now I know her: if she be a traitor,70
Why so am I; we still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together,
And wheresoever we went, like Juno's swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.
DUKE FREDERICKShe is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence and her patience
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous
When she is gone. Then open not thy lips:80
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.
CELIAPronounce that sentence then on me, my liege:
I cannot live out of her company.
DUKE FREDERICKYou are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself:
If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,
And in the greatness of my word, you die.
[Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK and Lords]
CELIAO my poor Rosalind, whither wilt thou go?
Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.
I charge thee, be not thou more grieved than I am.90
ROSALINDI have more cause.
CELIAThou hast not, cousin;
Prithee be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke
Hath banish'd me, his daughter?
ROSALINDThat he hath not.
CELIANo, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:
Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl?
No: let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go and what to bear with us;
And do not seek to take your change upon you,100
To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.
ROSALINDWhy, whither shall we go?
CELIATo seek my uncle in the forest of Arden.
ROSALINDAlas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
CELIAI'll put myself in poor and mean attire
And with a kind of umber smirch my face;
The like do you: so shall we pass along
And never stir assailants.
ROSALINDWere it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,115
A boar-spear in my hand; and--in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will--
We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,
As many other mannish cowards have
That do outface it with their semblances.
CELIAWhat shall I call thee when thou art a man?
ROSALINDI'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page;
And therefore look you call me Ganymede.
But what will you be call'd?
CELIASomething that hath a reference to my state125
No longer Celia, but Aliena.
ROSALINDBut, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal
The clownish fool out of your father's court?
Would he not be a comfort to our travel?
CELIAHe'll go along o'er the wide world with me;
Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,
And get our jewels and our wealth together,
Devise the fittest time and safest way
To hide us from pursuit that will be made
After my flight. Now go we in content135
To liberty and not to banishment.

Next: As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 1

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 to burs.

18. Hem ... away: suggests that the burs are in her throat.

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 from guilt.

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 morning?

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) < >.


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