As You Like It By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Act V: Scene 3

Summary

"To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey," Touchstone tells his true love; "to-morrow will we be married." They are entertained then by two of the duke's pages, who sing, appropriately, "It was a lover and his lass." Afterward, Touchstone bids the minstrels "God be wi' you; and God mend your voices!"

Analysis

This dialogue between Touchstone and Audrey is a sequel to their dialogue in Act V, Scene 1. In that scene, Audrey in her simple way realized that marrying Touchstone would be no simple matter. In this scene, her "desire to be a woman of the world" seems about to be realized.

This scene is also used to give the players time to prepare for the elaborate masque in the next scene. The entrance of the two pages and their subsequent song prelude the arrival of Hymen. In the song, love is praised, especially the beauty of young love and the fact that life is short and love is for the young. It is noteworthy in this connection that unlike Jaques, Touchstone does not criticize the song until it is sung, and, even then, the thrust of his criticism is with the fact that "there was no great matter in the ditty," but he also adds that it was very "untunable." Until now, Jaques has never been so cleverly witty.

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