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As You Like It

As You Like It

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As You Like It Contrasting Regions Quotes

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Quote #1

ORLANDOSpeak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you;I thought that all things had been savage here,And therefore put I on the countenanceOf stern commandment. (2.7.5)


Orlando assumes everything in the forest is brutal, so he tries to be brutal too.  He means to contrast the court to the forest, but the irony is that the court has proved more brutal to him than the forest could ever be.

Quote #2

CORINNot a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at thecourt are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour of thecountry is most mockable at the court. You told me you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would beuncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.TOUCHSTONEInstance, briefly; come, instance.CORINWhy, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, youknow, are greasy.TOUCHSTONEWhy, do not your courtier's hands sweat? And is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.CORINBesides, our hands are hard.TOUCHSTONEYour lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A more sounder instance; come.CORINAnd they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of oursheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands areperfum'd with civet.TOUCHSTONEMost shallow man! thou worm's meat in respect of a good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar--the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mendthe instance, shepherd.CORINYou have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest. (3.2.6)


Corin argues that the attitudes and social conventions of the court have no place in the country.  The custom of hand-kissing, for example, wouldn't work in the country because everybody's hands are always greasy and smelly from handling sheep.  Touchstone, as usual, says that's not a good enough reason and argues with Corin until the old shepherd gives up and says Touchstone is too witty for him. 

Quote #3

First, in this forest, let us do those endsThat here were well begun and well begot:And after, every of this happy numberThat have endured shrewd days and nights with usShall share the good of our returned fortune,According to the measure of their states.Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignityAnd fall into our rustic revelry. (5.4.8)


Wait a minute here.  If life in the country is so great, why does everyone decide to return to court when they find out their old titles and fortunes will be restored?  Because Arden isn't exactly the "real world," it seems like the forest can only ever be a temporary refuge. 

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