© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Summary

As You Like It Act 4, Scene 3 Summary Page 1

  • Over two hours later, Rosalind/Ganymede and Celia ponder over Orlando, who hasn't shown up yet.
  • Silvius enters, with a letter from Phoebe to "Ganymede."
  • Rosalind reads the thing and is shocked by the contents and accuses Silvius of forging the letter.
  • The letter, by the way, basically says "You're a jerk. Also, I love you – do you love me back?"
  • Worst of all, Phoebe writes that Ganymede can send his response to her through Silvius. Poor Silvius!
  • Rosalind, thinking of some way out of this idiocy, tells Silvius to give Phoebe some instructions: if Phoebe loves Ganymede, then Ganymede commands her to love Silvius. If she won't do that, then Ganymede won't take her, unless Silvius convinces him to take her. Um…OK.
  • Silvius leaves with the news.
  • Then Oliver, Orlando's older brother, randomly shows up in the forest.
  • Oliver has been trying to find these two (Ganymede and Aliena) in particular, and recognizes Ganymede, who has been described as a "fair boy of female favor" with a short sister.
  • It turns out that Oliver has just come from a visit with Orlando, who has recently been wounded by an angry mama lion. Oliver hands over a bloody napkin as proof.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede is just as confused as we are, until Oliver explains what's been going on. The story goes like this: After Orlando left Ganymede, he discovered a ragged man sleeping under an oak. A green-gold snake was wrapped around the man's neck, ready to bite him in the mouth. Fortunately, when the snake saw Orlando, it got scared and slipped away under a bush.
  • Conveniently, a hungry lioness was waiting under that same bush for that same man to wake up. (Lions prefer their meals to be lively, of course.) Orlando approached the sleeping man, who he discovered was his older brother, Oliver. Imagine that.
  • Celia and Rosalind chime in that they've heard stories of how awful that brother was, and Oliver continues that Orlando twice turned his back, but just couldn't bring himself to leave his wicked brother to the hungry lioness. Instead, Orlando fought the lion and saved his wicked brother's life.
  • Now, Oliver admits that he is the wicked brother in the story. He says he's undergone a "conversion," meaning that, since Orlando has risked his own life to save Oliver twice, he no longer feels like murdering his own flesh and blood.
  • Everything is great now, except that Orlando didn't fare so well and fainted from a wound he received while fighting the lioness.
  • Rosalind, on hearing this whole story, "swoons" (faints). As she recovers, she remembers her masculine disguise, and that men aren't really supposed to swoon.
  • Oliver teases "Ganymede" for acting like a girl. Rosalind/Ganymede then laughs it off, saying she did a good job of acting like a woman there, which was part of her master plan. Ho, ho, ho.
  • Oliver doesn't buy it, and recommends that the next time the boy pretends, he should pretend to be a man. (Snarky, or uniquely perceptive among those in the forest? Your call…)
  • Celia, concerned with all the fainting, tries to get Rosalind/Ganymede home.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top