As You Like It


William Shakespeare

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As You Like It: Act 5, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
Touchstone and Audrey speak excitedly about their marriage. Two of Duke Senior’s pages enter and sing a song for them. They sing of love in springtime, with singing birds, flowers, and cornfields. The song’s refrain is “with a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,” and most of its stanzas end with “etc.” Touchstone deems the song “untuneable,” foolish, and not worth his time.
The pages’ song is absurd and amusing. It is overly sentimental, and the use of the academic “etc.” in a love song has a humorously jarring effect. Touchstone’s rejection of the song as too “foolish” suggests perhaps that love has made him less tolerant of foolishness than he was before.
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Literary Devices