As You Like It
As You Like It Philosophical Viewpoints Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
TOUCHSTONETruly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a goodlife; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is nought.In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but inrespect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now inrespect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respectit is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life,look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plentyin it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy inthee, shepherd? (3.2.1)
Aside from Touchstone being deliberately opaque, it is possible he is just using his balanced perspective again. His ability as a fool, as he has already said, is to see the foolish in the seemingly wise, which extends to seeing both sides of every argument.
CORINSir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that Iwear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of othermen's good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck. (3.2.11)
Corin's philosophy is one of natural contentment. Corin and the other "naturals" are utterly unconcerned with the frippery of the court, or with men's frippery in general.
TOUCHSTONEAmen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, staggerin this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, noassembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage! As horns areodious, they are necessary. It is said: 'Many a man knows no endof his goods.' Right! Many a man has good horns and knows no endof them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of hisown getting. Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblestdeer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man thereforeblessed? No; as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, sois the forehead of a married man more honourable than the barebrow of a bachelor; and by how much defense is better than noskill, by so much is horn more precious than to want. (3.3.9)
It seems even Touchstone's rakish philosophy has its limits. He is fine messing around, but like anyone else, he's afraid of being alone, which is a rather poignant moment in these ponderings. He would rather suffer the complete foolishness of his country wife than be alone with his wit.