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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

As You Like It Foolishness and Folly Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to The Norton Shakespeare, second edition, published in 2008.

Quote #4

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. (2.4.53-55)

Usually, Touchstone is the first person to bag 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?

Quote #5

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. (2.7.12-13; 29-35)

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.   

Quote #6

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. (2.7.44-49)

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 poseur?

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