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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

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.

Quote #1

But let your
fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial,
wherein, if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that
was never gracious; if kill'd, but one dead that is
willing to be so. I shall do my friends no wrong, for
I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for
in it I have nothing. Only in the world I fill up a
place which may be better supplied when I have
made it empty. (1.2.178-186)

Orlando's anger has changed to gentle despair. By the philosophical wonderings of the worth of his own life, he has come to the conclusion that his life is worth nothing.

Quote #2

Now go we in content
To liberty, and not to banishment. (1.3.144-145)

Celia's life philosophy leans toward the glass-half-full side. Sometimes all you need is a little perspective, which has the power to change the entire feel of what could otherwise be a bad situation. 

Quote #3

O yes, into a thousand similes.
First, for his weeping into the needless stream:
"Poor deer," quoth he "thou mak'st a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much." Then, being there
Left and abandoned of his velvet friends:
''Tis right," quoth he. "Thus misery doth part
The flux of company." Anon, a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
And never stays to greet him. "Ay," quoth Jaques
"Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens.
'Tis just the fashion. Wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?"
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
To fright the animals, and to kill them up
In their assigned and native dwelling place. (2.1.47-66)

Drama undercuts even the most reputable philosophical inquiries. The serious pursuit of philosophy requires that it be more a thinking and rational pursuit than one inspired by (or tainted by) feelings.

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