Symbols in As You Like It

Symbols Examples in As You Like It:

Act IV - Act IV, Scene 3 1

"I verily did think That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;..."   (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 3)

The image of the gloves serves as a symbol of class and courtly behaviour. Aristocratic women in Elizabethan England would have worn gloves, a fashion which metaphorically conveys inactivity: to wear gloves is to be passive, to not dirty one’s hands. That Phebe does not wear gloves suggests both her lower class and also her active role in courting Silvius.