Act V - Act V, Scene 2

SCENE II. Another part of the Forest.

[Enter ORLANDO and OLIVER.]

ORLANDO.
Is't possible that on so little acquaintance you should
like her? that but seeing you should love her? and loving woo?
and, wooing, she should grant? and will you persever to enjoy
her?

OLIVER.
Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the poverty
of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden wooing, nor her sudden
consenting; but say with me, I love Aliena; say, with her, that
she loves me; consent with both, that we may enjoy each other: it
shall be to your good; for my father's house, and all the revenue
that was old Sir Rowland's will I estate upon you, and here
live and die a shepherd.

ORLANDO.
You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow: thither will
I invite the duke and all's contented followers. Go you and
prepare Aliena; for, look you, here comes my Rosalind.

[Enter ROSALIND.]

ROSALIND.
God save you, brother.

OLIVER.
And you, fair sister.

[Exit.]

ROSALIND.
O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee
wear thy heart in a scarf!

ORLANDO.
It is my arm.

ROSALIND.
I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws of a lion.

ORLANDO.
Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.

ROSALIND.
Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to swoon
when he show'd me your handkercher?

ORLANDO.
Ay, and greater wonders than that.

ROSALIND.
O, I know where you are:--nay, 'tis true: there was never
anything so sudden but the fight of two rams and Caesar's
thrasonical brag of "I came, saw, and overcame:" for your brother
and my sister no sooner met, but they looked; no sooner looked,
but they loved; no sooner loved, but they sighed; no sooner
sighed, but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the
reason, but they sought the remedy: and in these degrees have
they made pair of stairs to marriage, which they will climb
incontinent, or else be incontinent before marriage: they are in
the very wrath of love, and they will together: clubs cannot part
them.

ORLANDO.
They shall be married to-morrow; and I will bid the duke
to the nuptial. But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into
happiness through another man's eyes! By so much the more shall I
to-morrow be at the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I
shall think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.

ROSALIND.
Why, then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind?

ORLANDO.
I can live no longer by thinking.

ROSALIND.
I will weary you, then, no longer with idle talking. Know
of me then,--for now I speak to some purpose,--that I know you
are a gentleman of good conceit: I speak not this that you should
bear a good opinion of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you
are; neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in some
little measure draw a belief from you, to do yourself good, and
not to grace me. Believe then, if you please, that I can do
strange things: I have, since I was three year old, conversed
with a magician, most profound in his art and yet not damnable.
If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries
it out, when your brother marries Aliena, shall you marry her:--
I know into what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is not
impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient to you, to set
her before your eyes to-morrow, human as she is, and without any
danger.

ORLANDO.
Speak'st thou in sober meanings?

ROSALIND.
By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say I
am a magician. Therefore put you in your best array, bid your
friends; for if you will be married to-morrow, you shall; and
to Rosalind, if you will. Look, here comes a lover of mine, and a
lover of hers.

[Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE.]

PHEBE.
Youth, you have done me much ungentleness,
To show the letter that I writ to you.

ROSALIND.
I care not if I have: it is my study
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:
You are there follow'd by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.

PHEBE.
Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.

SILVIUS.
It is to be all made of sighs and tears;--
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE.
And I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO.
And I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND.
And I for no woman.

SILVIUS.
It is to be all made of faith and service;--
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE.
And I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO.
And I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND.
And I for no woman.

SILVIUS.
It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience, and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance;--
And so am I for Phebe.

PHEBE.
And so am I for Ganymede.

ORLANDO.
And so am I for Rosalind.

ROSALIND.
And so am I for no woman.

PHEBE.
[To ROSALIND.] If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

SILVIUS.
[To PHEBE.] If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

ORLANDO.
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?

ROSALIND.
Why do you speak too,--'Why blame you me to love you?'

ORLANDO.
To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.

ROSALIND.
Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling of Irish wolves
against the moon.--
[to SILVIUS] I will help you if I can;--
[to PHEBE] I would love you if I could.--
To-morrow meet me all together.--
[to PHEBE] I will marry you if ever I marry woman, and I'll be
married to-morrow:--
[to ORLANDO] I will satisfy you if ever I satisfied man, and you
shall be married to-morrow:--
[to SILVIUS] I will content you if what pleases you contents you,
and you shall be married to-morrow.
[to ORLANDO] As you love Rosalind, meet.
[to SILVIUS] As you love Phebe, meet;--
and as I love no woman, I'll meet.--So, fare you well; I have
left you commands.

SILVIUS.
I'll not fail, if I live.

PHEBE.
Nor I.

ORLANDO.
Nor I.

[Exeunt.]

Footnotes

  1. Rosalind’s claim that “it is my study” is a clever pun. On one level, the word “study” indicates that Rosalind’s inauthentic identity is a result of study. There is also the notion of an understudy, a secondary actor who fills in a role in the event of an absence. Rosalind thus describes Ganymede as a sort of understudy, an alternate persona.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Orlando’s terse question marks a somewhat humorous tonal shift following Rosalind’s long, meandering, metaphor-filled speech. Considering that Orlando may well know Rosalind’s true identity, his question works on two levels. He asks both whether Rosalind’s words are true and whether her identity is honest.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. Rosalind uses a pair of metaphors to describe the suddenness with which Oliver and Celia fell in love. The metaphors are strangely violent: the “fight of two rams” and Caesar’s declaration after having swiftly won the battle of Zela. The aggressive connotations underlying these metaphors are certainly in line with Oliver’s character.

    — Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff
  4. This is another instance in which Rosalind writes the other character’s roles. Throughout the play, we have seen Rosalind’s ability to orchestrate and control the outcomes of her desires from her place on the boundary. With this final “command” Rosalind will bring about the comedic ending of the play.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  5. Once again, Silvis explains love using romantic tropes. He alludes to the speaker from love poetry, such as sonnets, who suffers from unrequited love. This speaker’s infatuation has more to do with the pose of love than the actual experience of love.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  6. Rosalind breaks love at first sight into multiple steps. This long list of their infatuation is comic: her description takes more time than they did to fall in love.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  7. This repetition mimics a refrain in a song in a round. This style fits in with the backdrop of the pastoral, and transforms what could be dramatic romantic entanglement into a comic space.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  8. Orlando’s claim that his brother told him “greater wonders” than “Ganymede’s” counterfeiting suggests that Oliver revealed Rosalind’s identity to Orlando. This could signify a subtle shift in power in which Orlando is now playing along with Rosalind rather than being fooled by her.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  9. Oliver calls Rosalind “fair sister” while she is still in her disguise as Ganymede. This suggests that Oliver knows Rosalind’s true identity and is the only character thus far who sees through her disguise.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  10. Oliver’s vow to give up his estate and live with Celia as a shepherd demonstrates his changed nature: he is no longer the greedy older brother who sought to disinherit his younger brother.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  11. Notice that Oliver lists all of the things that are wrong with Celia in telling Orlando to not mention her faults. This is the first instance in which the audience is told that Oliver is in love with Celia. Though most of the play has mocked love at first sight, it ends with this love at first sight relationship between Celia and Oliver.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  12. Wolves symbolize barbarism.  Ireland had a great number of wolves; for many Elizabethans, this was evidence of that country's uncivilized nature. 

    — Jamie Wheeler
  13. I am not attempting to enhance my own reputation more than necessary for you to be persuaded to do yourself some good. 

    — Jamie Wheeler
  14. Not meriting death for heresy. Under Elizabethan law, practicing witchcraft or black magic could earn the death penalty.  

    — Jamie Wheeler