Study Guide

As You Like It Act 2, Scene 4

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Act 2, Scene 4

Read the full text of As You Like It Act 2 Scene 4 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Rosalind (Ganymede), Celia (Aliena), and Touchstone have been wandering around in the Forest of Arden and they're all exhausted.
  • Rosalind makes a joke about not wanting to "cry like a woman." Since she's wearing man-pants, she'll try to be courageous.
  • Two shepherds, Corin and Silvius wander in, deep in conversation. The ladies and Touchstone decide to eavesdrop.
  • Corin, an old man, is counseling the young man, Silvius, on love.
  • Silvius is madly infatuated with a woman named Phoebe and, like many people madly in love, Silvius has 1) no sense and 2) no chance of hooking up with his beloved. He's also very melodramatic.
  • Silvius is more lovesick than our good friend Romeo Montague (from Romeo and Juliet, of course). Eventually, he wanders off.
  • Touchstone declares that he, too, was once madly in love. Her name was Jane Smile, a milkmaid with chapped hands (from milking so many cows).
  • Touchstone declares that love makes people foolish but being foolish and in love is also what makes us a human.
  • Celia breaks up the chatter by pointing out that, while all of this is very nice, she is kind of on the verge of starving to death.
  • Thanks goodness old Corin is such a nice guy. Even though he's poor and his master is a cheapskate, he'll try to help Touchstone, "Aliena," and "Ganymede" as best as he can.
  • Corin says his master is selling the property where Corin tends his flock. Silvius is supposed to buy the property, but is too distracted by Phoebe to make the purchase. Given this, Rosalind/Ganymede says she'll buy cottage, pasture, flock, and all. Celia/Aliena, ever-thoughtful, says they will increase Corin's pay, and they'll all live happily together.

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