As You Like It

Jaques Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
A faithful lord to Duke Senior, Jaques has an exaggeratedly melancholy disposition and is a devoted though cynical observer of the world that surrounds him. His meeting with Touchstone inspires him to become a fool, so that he may make use of his critical eye. However, Jaques's extreme melancholy often seems to indicate a degree of foolishness rather than the counterintuitive wisdom of the true fool. In the end of the play, his consistently external, observing position is further confirmed by his decision to join Duke Frederick in a monastery.

Jaques Quotes in As You Like It

The As You Like It quotes below are all either spoken by Jaques or refer to Jaques. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of As You Like It published in 2009.
Act 2, Scene 5 Quotes

I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs.

Related Characters: Jaques (speaker)
Page Number: 2.5.12-13
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 7 Quotes

When I did hear the motley fool thus moral on the time, my lungs began to crow like chanticleer that fools should be so deep contemplative.

Related Characters: Jaques (speaker), Touchstone
Page Number: 2.5.29-32
Explanation and Analysis:

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All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

Related Characters: Jaques (speaker)
Page Number: 2.7.146-150
Explanation and Analysis:

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Jaques Character Timeline in As You Like It

The timeline below shows where the character Jaques appears in As You Like It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...estate to his other son, Oliver, and instructed him to raise his brothers, Orlando and Jaques, well. While treating Jaques fairly, however, Oliver has routinely denied Orlando all of the money,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...they go hunt for venison, and the First Lord agrees, though adds that “the melancholy Jaques, one of the duke’s lords (not to be confused with Jaques de Boys), is known... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...an ode to nature, which invites its listener to “come hither” to the greenwood tree. Jaques persistently begs Amiens to keep singing, despite Amien's warning that it will make him melancholy... (full context)
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Jaques hands Amiens a poem he’s written, which describes a man who leaves his wealth to... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 7
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...anywhere. Just as he is ordering his lords to go find this missing man, however, Jaques, the man in question, approaches. Jaques proceeds to describe a fool he rant into in... (full context)
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Jaques concludes by declaring his own wish to be a fool and his ambition to have... (full context)
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Duke Senior accuses Jaques of being hypocritical in pointing out the sins of others, having himself committed sins of... (full context)
Country vs. City Theme Icon
...enters and orders, “eat no more!” With drawn sword he demands food. Duke Senior and Jaques are taken aback, and the former inquires if the intruder is distressed or simply poorly... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Duke Senior and Jaques comment on how their own unhappiness is matched by the unhappy situations of so many... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Orlando and Jaques enter, bickering. Jaques insults Rosalind’s name, and tells Orlando that being in love is the... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
...already beautiful, and it is excessive to be both honest and beautiful. Throughout their exchange, Jaques stands nearby and makes occasional asides about Audrey’s stupidity. (full context)
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...and inquires if there is anyone to give away the woman in the marriage ceremony. Jaques steps forward and offers to do it, but then convinces Touchstone that the marriage should... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Jaques approaches "Ganymede," wanting to get better acquainted. Rosalind calls Jaques a “melancholy fellow,” and Jaques... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Jaques addresses the First Lord, who has killed a deer, and suggests that he present his... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Duke Senior, Amiens, Jaques, Orlando, Oliver, and Celia (as Aliena) enter. In response to Duke Senior’s questions about Ganymede’s... (full context)
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Touchstone enters with Audrey, and Jaques identifies him as the fool he had mentioned meeting earlier in the forest. Touchstone claims... (full context)
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Jaques de Boys enters and reports that Duke Frederick, who had been on his way to... (full context)
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Everyone rejoices that they can return to the royal court, except for Jaques who announces that he will go join Duke Frederick in his life of contemplation at... (full context)