As You Like It

what role do jaques and touchstone play in act 5 scene 4

act 5 scene 4

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Shakespeare uses to two to provide a bit of fun-loving mockery to the scene.

"Touchstone and Audrey arrive, and Jaques remarks, "There is sure another flood toward, and these couples are coming to the ark" (5.4.35-36). Touchstone then discourses on the proper etiquette about challenging someone to a duel. He makes fun of the procedures, naming seven degrees of accusing someone of lying before a duel must be fought. Touchstone finishes his discourse by explaining how using the word "if" can settle all disputes."

"Shakespeare pokes a great deal of fun at the institution of marriage at the very end. He introduces the character of Hymen, the god of marriage, into what has turned into four marriages. Jaques alone seems to realize how funny and pathetic this is, "There is sure another flood toward, and these couples are coming to the ark" (5.4.35-36). He sees the scene for what it is, a ceremony in which the characters are herded, two by two, into the ark of marriage.

A strong theme that emerges at the end is the language of wanting. In fact, this theme has always been present, but never to such a blatant degree. The title itself suggest the act of wanting, "As You Like It". Touchstone is the character who makes it obvious in his speech about lying and dueling. He indicates the many uses of "if" to avoid a duel, stating that "Your if is the only peacemaker" (5.4.91). The "if" represents the possibilities that are inherent in each situation, "if I will bestow" (5.4.6-7), "you'll marry me if I be willing?" (5.4.11), "you'll have Phoebe if she will" (5.4.16). Each of these "ifs" indicates another possible outcome to the play, a different path other than the one that is eventually chosen."