As You Like It - Key Quotations

Some key quotations from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' for the A2 English Literature exam, with some analysis.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Gabrielle
  • Created on: 26-05-12 19:00

"He keeps me rustically at home or, to speak more

- ORLANDO [Act 1, Scene 1]

  • Gives an idea as to how the court views rustics - that they are 'simple', and that those residing in the court are higher up and more intelligent than those who are not.
1 of 23

"They say he is already in the Forest of Arden ...

- CHARLES [Act 1, Scene 1]

  • "Forest of Arden" - Garden of Eden? Pastoral convention of religion, and that the countryside is idyllic compared to the court
  • "Robin Hood of England" - Pastoral convention of literature and poetry, and the fact that Robin Hood lived peacefully in the countryside
  • "Golden world" - Golden ages. A time where all was peaceful - ever present in pastoral literature.
2 of 23

"Break his neck as his finger ... never leave thee

- OLIVER [Act 1, Scene 1]

  • Shows that the court is much more violent than the country (country v. town pastoral convention)
3 of 23

"He will put on us as pigeons feed their young"

- CELIA [Act 1, Scene 2]

  • Pastoral imagery
  • Can be argued that this shows that the court can be in touch with nature
4 of 23

"O how full of briars is this working day world!"

 - ROSALIND [Act 1, Scene 3]

  • Hostility of nature, or the harshness of a modern court?
5 of 23

"A gallant curtal-axe upon my thigh, a boar spear

 - ROSALIND [Act 1, Scene 3]

  • Romantices the view of hunting, and pastoral/rural traditions
6 of 23

"Now we go in content, to liberty, and not to bani

- CELIA [Act 1, Scene 3]

  • They are free of the harshness of court, and so will be more free in the forest
7 of 23

"Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile ... and go

 - DUKE SENIOR [Act 2, Scene 1]

  • "Painted pomp" - People are not real in the court. They are constantly having to pretend to be something they are not, which means when they go to the forest...
  • "Are not these woods more free?" - Town v. Country.
  • "Sermons in stones" - Religious references, and the pastoral setting is smart, and able to teach those from the town things that they did not know?
8 of 23

"Under the greenwood tree ... But winter and rough

 - AMIENS [Act 2, Scene 5]

  • Songs... Pastoral convention, often featured - particularly in - Shakespeare's pastoral plays.
  • Echoes Duke Senior's opening speech
9 of 23

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women

- JAQUES [Act 2, Scene 7]

  • Goes onto say about the seven ages of man - connection with Tess of the d'Urbervilles?

Infancy = The Maiden Knows little
= Maiden No More Begins to gain knowledge in the world - Tess has been *****/seduced at this point, and so she is more knowledgable of the world
= The Rally Remorseful, tries to express feelings - Tess' baby, Sorrow, has died, goes to Talbothay's, falls in love with Angel
= The Consequence Making a reputation, gaining recognition - Tess and Angel get married, and she will tell him about Alec
The Justice
= The Woman Pays Has reached social status/prosperity - Angel scorns her for the ****, and she goes to Flintcomb-Ash
Old age
= The Convert Begins to lose charm, and loses status - Tess meets Alec (who is a reverend), and Angel regrets his treatment of Tess
Childishness and death
= Fulfilment Becomes dependent - Tess kills Alec, she and Angel run away, and she is killed.

10 of 23

"In respect of itself, it is a good life; but in r

 - TOUCHSTONE [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • There are both negatives and positives to living in the forest. However, is he unable to adjust/accept life in the forest becuase of the connotations and stereotypes that urround rustics?
11 of 23

"Those that are good manners at the court are as r

 - CORIN [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • Town v. Court - Both have different customs, and through this customs it makes them different, although in both cases, each setting finds the way they act as strange.
12 of 23

"Let the forest judge."

 - TOUCHSTONE [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • Shows that the forest is strong/powerful; much stronger than people and the court. On the other hand, this can be undermined by the fact that 'judge' has the connotation of law, of which would be associated with the court/town.
13 of 23

"The worst fault you have is to fall in love."

 - JAQUES [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • Undermines that a convention of the pastoral is love, and that the country is idyllic.
  • Can imply that the pastoral convetions are almost wrong and the countryside/forest is actually a place where there is negativity; not the paradise which the name implies.
14 of 23

"There's no clock in the forest."

 - ORLANDO [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • Shows that the forest is free from the constrictions of which the court is (Town v. Court)
  • However, this is undermined by Rosalind later in the play when Rosalind becomes mad at him for being late when they are supposed to be meeting
15 of 23

"A lean cheek, which you have not ... as loving yo

 - ROSALIND [Act 3, Scene 3]

  • Love being an aspect of the pastoral, this is the 'symptoms' of falling in love.
16 of 23

"I am not a ****, though I thank the gods I am fou

 - AUDREY [Act 3, Scene 4]

  • The fact that Touchstone calls her a "****" can imply that the only reason he marries her is to ensure that they can have sex without committing sin.
  • The audience also gets to know the characterisation of Audrey in the way in which she is "foul", this implies that she is a stereotypical rustic character.
17 of 23

"The wounds invisible that loves keen arrows make.

 - SILVIUS [Act 3, Scene 6]

  • Post-pastoral - while love is a pastoral convention, it is implied as being a negative aspect with the use of "wounds"
18 of 23

"'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'"

 - PHEBE [Act 3, Scene 6]

  • Shows simple love, both of which can be said to be conventions of the pastoral genre (simplicity and love)
19 of 23

"Men are April when they woo, December when they w

 - ROSALIND [Act 4, Scene 1]

  • Pathetic fallacy - showing that men change from when they are trying to get married to when they are actually married. Implied oppression of women?
20 of 23

"... A lioness ..."

 - OLIVER [Act 4, Scene 3]

  • Shows the hostility of nature, post pastoral? Goes against the pastoral 'tradition' that the countryside is a peaceful and friendly place.
21 of 23


 - [Act 5, Scene 4]

  • Hymen is the Greek and Roman god of marriage, and thus by introducing a character of religion, the play is conforming the the conventions that are expected of the pastoral genre.
22 of 23

"It is not the fashion to see the lady the Epilogu

 - ROSALIND [Act 5, Scene 4]

  • Shows that women are equal in the forest/countryside, and thus everyone is equal in a natural setting
  • However, will things (such as the social ladder) go back, now that Duke Senior is in charge of the court? When they return to the court, will women go back to being subjugated by men?
23 of 23


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »