As You Like It

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As You Like It Act 4, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jaques approaches "Ganymede," wanting to get better acquainted. Rosalind calls Jaques a “melancholy fellow,” and Jaques accepts the characterization, but specifies that his kind of melancholy is not like any other and is rather “a melancholy of [his] own, compounded of many simples” and inspired by many experiences and travels. Rosalind declares that she would rather have a fool make her happy than experience make her sad. Jacques departs.
Jaques continues to fail in his attempt to match Touchstone’s sophisticated foolishness. While Touchstone is experienced and joyous, Jaques is experienced and sad—and again tries to explain how his melancholy is a form of wisdom—but in fact it just makes him an unpleasant companion and an unsuccessful fool.
Themes
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Orlando enters and Rosalind (dressed as Ganymede) scolds him for missing their meeting that morning, claiming that she’d rather have a snail for a lover. She orders Orlando to woo her, and he says that if she were really Rosalind, he would kiss her before saying anything. She responds that he should save the kiss for the moment when he runs out of things to say.
Again Rosalind’s disguise creates a humorous effect: Orlando describes what he would do if he were talking to Rosalind, unaware that he is actually talking to her.
Themes
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Rosalind teases Orlando that she will not accept him as a lover and he dramatically replies that he will die. Rosalind objects, citing that no one has ever died from love, and then she finally announces that she will love Orlando. She gets Celia to play the role of a priest in a play-acted marriage between the two of them.
This play-acted marriage foreshadows their actual marriage at the end of the play, and at the same time allows Rosalind to get to enjoy "marrying" the man she loves. Note also that Rosalind is less ridiculous about love than Orlando is: she refuses to agree that someone could die from love.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Next, Rosalind (as Ganymede) tries to make herself (Rosalind) seem unappealing by promising Orlando that she will be jealous and temperamental in their marriage, all the more so because of, and not despite of, her wisdom. Orlando does not believe this could be true. He then departs to dine with the Duke, over Rosalind's protests, but promises to return by two o’clock.
Rosalind and Orlando's amusing banter indicates their mutual compatibility. Rosalind's comments about women are also rather stereotypical—of the delightful girl in love who becomes a terror as a wife.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
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Celia criticizes Rosalind for portraying women so badly. Rosalind responds by gushing to Celia how much she’s in love—she says that only Cupid could assess the depth of her love.
Celia calls Rosalind out on her simplistic and unflattering depictions of women, but Rosalind is too mired in the depths of her love to concern herself with anything else.
Themes
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon