ROSALINDIf it be true that good wine needs no bush,'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. (Epilogue)
Here, the actor playing the role of Rosalind steps forward and says something like "I'm going to deliver an epilogue now, even though the play is so good it doesn't need one – just like good wine doesn't need any special advertising." (FYI – "bush" refers to a piece of ivy that would have been hung outside a tavern to advertise the sale of wine.)
OK. So, why the heck would someone deliver an unnecessary epilogue and make a self-conscious remark about it? Let's think about this. Just a few moments earlier in the play, we were caught up in the make-believe world of Arden, where anything goes and just about anything's possible. Now, however, we're being reminded that the world of the play isn't reality and that it's time for us to go home to our ordinary lives. If you've read Hamlet, you already know that Shakespeare loves, loves, loves to remind us that we've been caught up in the fake world that he's created. Check out "What's Up With the Ending?" for more.