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Rhetorical Devices in As You Like It

Rhetorical Devices Examples in As You Like It:

Act IV - Act IV, Scene 1

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"JAQUES..."   (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 1)

Throughout this play, Shakespeare uses dialogue involving the fools to contemplate philosophical issues. For this reason many of Touchstone and Jaques’ conversations with each other and the other characters within the play seem thematically unrelated to the plot, yet profound in claims and questions.

"Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in, then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play!..."   (Act V - Act V, Scene 4)

Rosalind’s epilogue is remarkable for its level of self-awareness and self reflection. Rosalind steps outside the bounds of the play’s events to comment on the existence of the play itself. She goes so far as to comment on her own epilogue as she is delivering it. The underlying logic of her speech is that good plays do not require epilogues. She doubts the quality of her epilogue and, by extension, the quality of the play itself. It is unclear why Shakespeare chose to include this speech. One wonders whether the playwright is using Rosalind to express his creative doubts.

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