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Facts in As You Like It

Facts Examples in As You Like It:

Act I - Act I, Scene 1

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"a thousand crowns..."   (Act I - Act I, Scene 1)

This is the modern-day equivalent to about 250 English pounds. Compare Orlando's inheritance to Adam's life savings of only about 125 pounds (See 2.3.39).

"TOUCHSTONE..."   (Act I - Act I, Scene 2)

Touchstone’s name draws attention to his role in the play. The word “touchstone” refers to a variety of dark marble upon which samples of gold and silver are rubbed to determine their purity. Figuratively, a touchstone then refers to any object that tests the value of other objects. In As You Like It, Touchstone puts the attitudes and values of the other characters to the test through his cryptic, often foolish phrases.

"The poor world is almost six thousand years old..."   (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 1)

According to Elizabethan cosmology—the prevailing model of the universe in Shakespeare’s time—the history of the world would have been informed by biblical and classical references. Thus, Rosalind believes that the world is “almost six thousand years old.” It figures, then, that the references she uses throughout the rest of the line are of classical origin.

"like a Roman conqueror..."   (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 2)

During the era of the Roman republic and early empire, conquering Roman generals were celebrated in victory marches. As part of the ceremony, the general was crowned with a set of laurel branches. Jaques’s allusion to the laurels is ironic, and serves as an insult to Duke Senior. The Duke is by no means victorious. He is set to receive deer horns—symbolic of the cuckold—not the laurels of a conquering hero.

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