Study Guide

As You Like It Act 3, Scene 5

By William Shakespeare

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Act 3, Scene 5

Read the full text of As You Like It Act 3 Scene 5 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • Silvius and Phoebe enter bickering and Rosalind, Celia, and Corin eavesdrop.
  • Silvius is pretty pathetic. He says Phoebe may not love him, but he asks her to at least not be so bitter about the whole thing.
  • Phoebe replies that Silvius claimed her eyes could kill. He has lied, because she has tried to kill him with her eyes and he's still around. (Ouch.)
  • Brain snack: Silvius is acting like a typical "Petrarchan lover" here. Petrarch was a 14th-century Italian poet whose love poetry featured the unattainable and cruel Laura, a beautiful woman who drove the poet crazy with her luscious body and cold demeanor. She also had the ability to "wound" men with her icy stare. Phoebe, in case you haven't noticed, acts a lot like Laura.
  • Silvius says if Phoebe ever does find that she fancies him, then she'll understand what it feels like to be wounded by Cupid's arrows. Phoebe says great. Until that happens, leave me alone. 
  • Rosalind/Ganymede chimes in and tells Phoebe she really shouldn't be so insulting to poor Silvius, as (1) she's not that cute and (2) she should be grateful that anybody likes her, as she has "bugle eyeballs."
  • Rosalind/Ganymede then turns to Silvius and says he's an idiot for letting Phoebe treat him like garbage. She also adds that it's "fools" like Silvius who are responsible for the world being full of ugly "children." Oh, snap!
  • Rosalind/Ganymede doesn't stop there. She turns back to Phoebe and advises "Sell when you can, you are not for all markets." (Read: Marry this guy while you can because nobody else will want you.)
  • Phoebe's response? She falls for Rosalind/Ganymede, of course.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede tells Phoebe that would be a big mistake—Rosalind/Ganymede is not what s/he appears to be. (Understatement.) Then she heads off with Celia and Corin. 
  • Phoebe claims that she now loves an "I don't exactly detest your company anymore" sort of way. 
  • She hatches a plan to get Silvius to help her win over Ganymede. Because Silvius is desperately in love, he'll do whatever she wants.
  • Phoebe makes a big speech about she's not in love with Ganymede, even though other women probably would be. Thing is, he scorned her, so she wants to write him a mean letter and have Silvius deliver it for her...except it's pretty obvious that the letter isn't going to be mean. It's going to be a love letter, and Silvius is being played. 

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