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MonkeyNotes-As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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When Orlando admits that he is the guilty party, Rosalind pretends not to believe it. She says that her uncle has taught her to identify a love-sick man, by his lean cheeks, somber eyes, neglected beard, ungaitered hose, unbuttoned sleeves, and untied shoes. She comments that Orlando has none of these characteristics. She accuses him of perhaps only loving himself.

Rosalind, still disguised as Ganymede, explains how she has cured other men of their love sickness. As a young boy, she would play the role of the mistress to the love sick man. Then Ganymede, behaving like an unpredictable woman, would rapidly change from grieving, to acting proud, to crying, to smiling. Such play acting usually cured the men of their emotions.

Orlando says that he does not want to be cured of his love, but Ganymede still tempts him. She asks Orlando to pretend that she is Rosalind; then he can practice pursuing and wooing her. Orlando agrees to try the scheme, still fully unaware that Ganymede is really Rosalind.

Notes

In this scene, the major characters are brought together; Rosalind, Celia, Orlando, Jaques, and Touchstone all interact. The theme of country vs. city life is also developed as Corin and Touchstone discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both sides. More importantly, the theme of love is advanced by Orlando and his poems, as well as his defense of love to Jaques. It is also advanced by Rosalind's teasing Orlando, while she is in disguise, about his love sickness.

Orlando's argument with Jaques is filled with wit and humor; it is a complete contrast to the romantic, emotional extremes of his poetry. In his verse, Orlando describes Rosalind as a semi-divine being, the embodiment of perfection. He states that she has the beauty of Helen of Troy, the dignified bearing of Cleopatra, the symmetry of form of Atlanta, and the virtue and honor of Lucretia. Jaques claims that the verses are spoiling the trees.

When Rosalind finds the poems and learns from Celia that they were written by Orlando, the man of her dreams, she is delighted. She is also concerned about the fact that she is disguised as a young man. With quick thought and action, she takes advantage of the situation by asking Orlando questions about his love and enjoying the thrill of hearing herself glorified. Moreover, she cleverly challenges him to imagine that Ganymede is Rosalind in order to practice wooing her. The purpose, obviously, is to please herself, but he is made to believe that it will be a cure for his love sickness. The love cure offered by Rosalind to Orlando is a form of make-believe, which is totally appropriate. Life in the Forest of Arden seems too good to be true, almost like make-believe.

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