Study Guide

As You Like It Act 4, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 1

Read the full text of As You Like It Act 4 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.


  • Rosalind/Ganymede chats with Jaques about his melancholy. Jaques thinks that a solid approach to life is to be sad and silent, and Rosalind/Ganymede claims he might as well be a fencepost.
  • Jaques then details different types of melancholy and declares that his comes from traveling.
  • Rosalind makes fun of him, naturally.
  • The philosophizing between Rosalind/Ganymede and Jaques gets cut short when Orlando shows up—about an hour late.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede is rather temperamental, first upset at Orlando for being late, then in the mood to be loved and chatted up.
  • Orlando says he would start the conversation with a kiss, if Ganymede were really his lover, but Rosalind/Ganymede says it's wiser to start with conversation and save the kiss for when he runs out of things to say.
  • They do a little verbal sparring, and then Rosalind (as Ganymede as Rosalind) says she won't have him. 
  • Orlando says if that's the case then he'll die.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede wisely points out that men die from a lot of things, but not from love.
  • This bantering ends with Rosalind/Ganymede suggesting that, in the spirit of pretend-wooing, they should have a pretend wedding. Celia/Aliena can play priest and marry the couple.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede and Orlando get fake-married and Orlando declares that, if he could really marry Rosalind, he'd love her forever.
  • Rosalind/Ganymede wryly points out that after a man marries a woman, he quickly loses interest in her.
  • After some more of this kind of talk, Orlando says he must leave for two hours to attend Duke Senior at dinner. He promises not to be a minute late on his return and runs off.
  • Celia berates Rosalind for representing women so poorly in her little charade, but Rosalind is on cloud nine. 
  • She tells Celia she's so in love that the depth of her love is deeper than the Bay of Portugal. What's more, she can't stand being away from Orlando. She's going to go sit in the shade and sigh—yes, seriously: sit in the shade and sigh—until he returns.
  • Great, Celia says. While you're doing that, I'll take a nap.