The Touchstone of Relationships

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Touchstone sitting with Rosalind and Celia

In the play As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, many comic situations are created with the help of the “clown” Touchstone. One factor that contributes to these comic scenes is wordplay that the characters use throughout conversations. Touchstone’s relationship with Rosalind and Celia is very unique in the play and constantly the three are engaged in clever dialogue. Rosalind and Celia exchange quick and clever conversation with Touchstone beginning in act one scene two. Rosalind says to Touchstone, “Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom,” and Touchstone responds, “Stand you both forth now. Stroke your chins, and wear by your beards that I am a knave.” Celia then joins by saying, “By our beards (if we had them) thou art.” Touchstone responds, “By my knavery (if I had it) then I were” (I, ii, 70). This conversation creates a comic situation because the women obviously do not grow beards, and Touchstone is begging the ladies to call him a fool. This is not the typical kind of conversation you would except.

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This entry was posted in As You Like It Spring 2015 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Touchstone of Relationships

  1. bsullivan35 says:

    You have a good command of the play to isolate this comic dialogue. Good work and great image!

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