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Rhyme in As You Like It

Rhyme Examples in As You Like It:

Act I - Act I, Scene 3

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"After my flight. Now go we in content To liberty, and not to banishment...."   (Act I - Act I, Scene 3)

It is very common for Shakespeare to end a scene on an unexpectedly rhymed couplet. The rhyme serves as cap on the scene, a sort of punctuation mark. It is equally common for the rhyme to detail a plan or prediction for the events of the following act. Indeed, Rosalind describes their flight “to liberty, and not to banishment.”

"Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything. I would not change it...."   (Act II - Act II, Scene 1)

Shakespeare carefully uses rhyme and alliteration to convey Duke Senior’s point about country living. The Duke identifies the natural world as a tremendous source of wisdom, drawing up fanciful images of “tongues,” “books,” and “sermons” for illustration.

"Give me your hand, And let me all your fortunes understand. ..."   (Act II - Act II, Scene 7)

Shakespeare ends Act II in his typical fashion: with a conclusive, rhyming couplet that prepares the audience for the next act. The final lines here encapsulate the major event of the scene: the uniting of the forces of Duke Senior and Orlando. In the case of this couplet, the rhyme—with its pairing quality—imitates the event it describes: the pairing of the Duke and Orlando.

"'From the east to western Ind, No jewel is like Rosalind...."   (Act III - Act III, Scene 2)

The verse Orlando has written for Rosalind takes the form of an eight-line poem with a single end rhyme. The repetition of the “-ind” rhyme is monotonous and boring, as Touchstone points out.

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