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MonkeyNotes-As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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Notes

This scene can be divided into two sections. The first part deals with the ironic and humorous situation where Phebe makes Silvius carry her love message to Ganymede. When Silvius delivers the letter, he genuinely believes that it is probably an angry one, filled with criticism, and warns Ganymede about it. When the disguised Rosalind reads the love verses a loud, Silvius is embarrassed and shocked to learn the truth. The kind Ganymede tries to save the day. He sends a message to Phebe stating that in order to prove her love for Ganymede, Phebe must love Silvius.

In the second part of the scene, the focus is entirely on Oliver and his reconciliation with his brother, Orlando. Oliver comes on stage searching for Ganymede, for he has a message for the youth from his brother. When he realizes he is talking to Ganymede, he tells about what has happened to Orlando. After finding his brother in the forest, Orlando saves him two different times. First he frightens away a snake that was about to strike the sleeping Oliver. Then he fights a lioness that was about to attack. Although Orlando was wounded in the battle, he was able to overpower the animal and save his brother and himself. Orlando is now resting in the duke's cave and has sent Oliver to explain what has happened and to give Ganymede the bloody handkerchief as proof. When Rosalind sees the handkerchief, she faints, almost giving away the fact that she is not a man; however, her quick thinking rescues her. When Oliver says she does not act like a man, she claims that she was only role- playing, acting as Rosalind would have done.

The outspoken Celia accuses Oliver of having tried to kill his brother in the past; he admits that it is true. Oliver then explains that he is a changed man; appropriately, the change has occurred in the Forest of Arden, far away from the pretentious court. As a result of Oliver's conversion, Orlando has forgiven him, and they have a new harmonious relationship. Oliver has seen the error of his ways and now recognizes and praises the compassion and heroism of Orlando. When Rosalind hears her lover being praised, she loves Orlando even more.

There are several important things to notice about this scene. Orlando's being wounded in a battle with a lioness is only reported by Oliver. In Elizabethan times, it would have been impossible to act out such a battle on stage. Also it is important to notice that Shakespeare is foreshadowing the future relationship between Oliver and Celia. When Oliver asks a question, it is always Celia who answers, not Rosalind. She is obviously attracted to the man. Finally it is important to notice that Rosalind is not always in control. When she looks at the bloody handkerchief, she does faint; however, as soon as she recovers, she is her old quick-witted self, making up a marvelous excuse about pretending to faint. Her explanation is filled with dramatic irony and humor.

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MonkeyNotes-As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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