As You Like It Philosophical Viewpoints Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to The Norton Shakespeare, second edition, published in 2008.
Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank
you. But that they call compliment is like th'
encounter of two dog-apes. And when a man thanks
me heartily, methinks have given him a penny, and
he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing. And
you that will not, hold your tongues. (2.5.23-28)
Jaques philosophizes on the nature of gratitude. His outlook on compliments being beggarly (in that they are too profuse and lowly) probably stems from his own inability to see anything worth being grateful for.
JAQUES [Quoting Touchstone]
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more 'twill be eleven.
And so, from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale. (2.7.25-29)
Touchstone's philosophy about the passage of time is pretty depressing, don't you think? According to our favorite licensed fool, every hour that passes leads to man's further decay. What's interesting about this passage is that Jaques, who is normally sad and moody, gets off on Touchstone's dreary outlook, admitting he "laughed sans [without] intermission."
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then, heigh-ho, the holly.
This life is most jolly. (2.7.189-191)
If this is the nature of life, then there is no reason in railing against it. At least we know what we are up against, and we might as well be happy in the face of it.