As You Like It
Foolishness and Folly Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
We that are
true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is
mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly. (2.4.4)
Usually, Touchstone is the first person to back on a character who is lovesick. Here, though, his insights about the nature of love seem pretty optimistic. He says that, even though love makes us do silly things, it's also the thing that makes us human. That's pretty right on, don't you think?
A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,
A motley fool; a miserable world!
When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative,
And I did laugh sans intermission
An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear. (2.7.1)
Hmm. It sounds like Jaques bumped into Touchstone in the forest, don't you think? What's interesting is that melancholy Jaques is delighted by his encounter with Touchstone, even though he makes fun of Touchstone's "wisdom" here.
O that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.
Thou shalt have one.
It is my only suit,
Provided that you weed your better judgments
Of all opinion that grows rank in them
That I am wise. (2.7.2)
When Jaques says "O that I were a fool," he's mocking Touchstone for being a licensed fool who wears a "motley" coat (a multicolored get-up worn by court fools). Yet, it also seems like Jaques really does wish he could be a licensed fool. As we know, Jaques sees himself as a philosopher with deep insight into human nature, but he's often mocked for his moody pretentiousness. So, does Jaques have what it takes to be a "fool"? Or, is he just a poser?