Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As You Like It

ACT V  SCENE IThe forest.
TOUCHSTONEWe shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.
AUDREYFaith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
gentleman’s saying.
TOUCHSTONEA most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile
Martext. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the
forest lays claim to you.
AUDREYAy, I know who ’tis; he hath no interest in me in
the world: here comes the man you mean.
TOUCHSTONEIt is meat and drink to me to see a clown: by my10
troth, we that have good wits have much to answer
for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.
WILLIAMGood even, Audrey.
AUDREYGod ye good even, William.
WILLIAMAnd good even to you, sir.
TOUCHSTONEGood even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are you, friend?
WILLIAMFive and twenty, sir.
TOUCHSTONEA ripe age. Is thy name William?20
WILLIAMWilliam, sir.
TOUCHSTONEA fair name. Wast born i’ the forest here?
WILLIAMAy, sir, I thank God.
TOUCHSTONE‘Thank God;’ a good answer. Art rich?
WILLIAMFaith, sir, so so.
TOUCHSTONE‘So so’ is good, very good, very excellent good; and
yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?
WILLIAMAy, sir, I have a pretty wit.
TOUCHSTONEWhy, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying,
‘The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man
knows himself to be a fool.’ The heathen
philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape,32
would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;
meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and
lips to open. You do love this maid?
WILLIAMI do, sir.
TOUCHSTONEGive me your hand. Art thou learned?
TOUCHSTONEThen learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it
is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out
of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty
the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse
is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.
WILLIAMWhich he, sir?44
TOUCHSTONEHe, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
clown, abandon,–which is in the vulgar leave,–the
society,–which in the boorish is company,–of this
female,–which in the common is woman; which
together is, abandon the society of this female, or,
clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better
understanding, diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make
thee away, translate thy life into death, thy
liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with
thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy
with thee in faction; I will o’errun thee with
policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways:
therefore tremble and depart.56
AUDREYDo, good William.
WILLIAMGod rest you merry, sir.
[Enter CORIN]
CORINOur master and mistress seeks you; come, away, away!
TOUCHSTONETrip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.

Next: As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 2

Explanatory notes for Act 5, Scene 1
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

A note of comedy to relieve the somewhat serious close of Act IV is this opening scene of the last act. We welcome our absurd lovers again and enjoy William while we are sorry for him.

Line 1. Is Touchstone still in love?

4. How old is Jaques?

5. Even Audrey has her admirers here in this forest of lovers, but it is not to be wondered at that the man from the world outside is her choice.

10. meat … me: a familiar modern expression. Can you think of another like it?

12. we … flouting: we must mock.

14. God … even: Our good evening is from this expression. How do the two conduct themselves?

15. sir: Touchstone has evidently impressed William. What is Touchstone’s manner?

31. The heathen philosopher: Shakespeare may have taken this from the novel where Lodge says: “Phebe is no latice for your lips and her grapes hang so high, that gaze at them you may, but touch them you cannot.”

40. Touchstone evidently wishes to impress William and therefore shows off what, to him. is his wisdom. Is William altogether impressed?

42. ipse: Latin for himself.

46. Can you see Touchstone crowding William off the stage with his boastful threats?

48. female: Touchstone evidently thinks this a finer term than woman.

53. bastinado: to beat with a cudgel especially on the soles of the feet. steel: a sword. bandy … faction: strive with you in a conspiracy.

58. God … merry: a common form of farewell. How does William leave?


1. How is the scene made amusing?

2. For what part of his audience did Shakespeare put it in?

3. What effect does another admirer have upon Touchstone’s feeling for Audrey?

4. What is Audrey’s manner towards William?

5. What characteristics of Touchstone does this scene bring out?

6. What becomes of William?