Character of Touchstone in Shakespeare's As You Like It


Length: 434 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



The Character of  Touchstone in As You Like It

 

As You Like It features, like so many of Shakespeare's plays, a professional clown, Touchstone, and it's worth paying some attention to his role for what it contributes towards establishing and maintaining the upbeat comic spirit of the play. For the jester is the constant commentator on what is going on. His humour, pointed or otherwise, thus inevitably contributes to the audience's awareness of what is happening, and the way in which other characters treat him is often a key indicator of their sensibilities.

Touchstone is one of the gentlest and happiest clowns in all of Shakespeare. He comments on the action, makes jokes at other people's expense, and offers ironic insights about their situation. But throughout As You Like It, such traditional roles of the fool are offered and taken with a generosity of spirit so that his remarks never shake the firm comic energies of the play. When he ridicules Orlando's verses, Rosalind laughs along with him. When he points out to Corin (in 3.2) that the shepherd must be damned for never having lived at court, Corin takes it as good natured jesting (which it is). When Touchstone takes Audrey away from her rural swain, William, there are apparently no hard feelings (although much here depends on the staging). In this play, the professional jester participates in and contributes to a style of social interaction which is unqualified by any more sober and serious reflections. This makes Touchstone very different from the bitter fool of King Lear or from the most complex fool of all, the sad Feste of Twelfth Night , both of whom offer comments that cast either a shrewd, melancholy, or bitter irony on the proceedings.

 

Touchstone himself becomes the target of much humour by his immediate attraction to Audrey, the "foul" country lass. There is something richly comic here, seeing the staunch apologist for the sophisticated life of the court fall so quickly to his animal lust. But the satire here is very good humoured. Touchstone himself acknowledges the frailty of his vows and does not attempt to deceive anyone about his intentions.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Character of Touchstone in Shakespeare's As You Like It." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Aug 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16144>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Shakespeare's Use of the Idea of Disguise in "As You Like It" - Shakespeare uses the idea of disguise in many of his plays. It is used as an escape from the characters’ personalities and sometimes for comic effect. In As You Like it, the disguise becomes very comical as in the time it was written only men could act on stage. This could lead to much confusion and comedy in the roles of those in disguise. Disguise can give the freedom to a character to act how they like and a chance for them to show their views. It was in the 16th Century that there became an increased sense of self consciousness and identity....   [tags: Shakespeare, disguise, As You Like It, ] 1211 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Manipulation of Lyrics in Shakespeare's As You Like It Essay - Manipulation of Lyrics in As You Like It       While it is a comedy of the turmoil of love and the experimentation with gender roles and identity, William Shakespeare's As you Like It is a historical preservation of Renaissance music. The play is fraught with spontaneous song and poetry, yet Shakespeare strategically manipulates these musical elements. Specifically, the lyrics and poetry of the play function to establish a soundtrack and a direct appeal to their Elizabethan audience, while providing Shakespeare with a valuable shorthand for character development....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1693 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's As You Like It - Importance of the Secondary Characters Essay - As You Like It:  The Importance of the Secondary Characters       As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, is a radiant blend of fantasy, romance, wit and humor. In this delightful romp, Rosalind stands out as the most robust, multidimensional and lovable character, so much so that she tends to overshadow the other characters in an audience's memory, making them seem, by comparison, just "stock dramatic types". Yet, As You Like It is not a stock romance that just happens to have Shakespeare's greatest female role....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays] 1543 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Jaques's Perspective in Shakespeare's As You Like It Essay - Jaques's Perspective in As You Like It       A cynic's cynic might declare Jaques no better than the guy who lurks in corners at a cocktail party, lobbing witty barbs at anyone unlucky enough to catch his eye. But this assessment robs Shakespeare's comedy of its sociological depth; what might be pleasant fluff about young people in love is enhanced by Jaques's ability to make stern judgments about the world, yet still respect the people who comprise it.   Indeed, Jaques observes astutely from the sidelines....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
552 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Language of Love in Shakespeare's As You Like It Essay - As You Like It is love:  The Language of Love               The most obvious concern of As You Like It is love, and particularly the attitudes and the language appropriate to young romantic love. This is obvious from the relationships between Orlando and Rosalind, Silvius and Phoebe, Touchstone and Audrey, and Celia and Oliver. The action of the play moves back and forth among these couples, inviting us to compare the different styles and to recognize from those comparisons some important facts about young love....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
1784 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Fool in William Shakespeare's As You Like It Essay - The Fool in William Shakespeare's As You Like It The fool is one of the first character archetypes that any student of literature learns how to analyze. Despite his seemingly light or even pointless chatter, the fool usually manages to say some fairly important things. Upon further study, the student may perceive that it is because of his penchant for silliness that the fool is given leave to express even offensive truths about the other characters. What happens, though, when one fool encounters another....   [tags: William Shakespeare As You Like Essays] 1539 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's As You Like It - The Many Flavors of Love Essay - As You Like It:   The Many Flavors of Love         As You Like It is remarkable among Shakespeare's plays for ending with four marriages, something of a record even among comedies. Love is a central theme of the play, although in some of its variations it cannot quite be said to be romantic. The love relationships may, at first glance, appear to be stock types: Rosalind and Orlando representing romantic hero-heroine love, Silvius and Phebe combining love in the lower classes with unrequited love, Audrey and Touchstone a darker attempt to seduce, and Celia and Oliver simple tying up of loose ends....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays] 1465 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's As You Like It - The Romantic Love of Silvius and Phebe Essay - As You Like It: The Romantic Love of Silvius and Phebe There are several types of love depicted in Shakespeare's As You Like It. One variety of love portrayed in this comedy is romantic love, the romantic literary ideal which became popular in the Middle Ages. According to the courtly love tradition a lover worships his lady and serves her, suffers all sorts of indignities for her sake, and thinks only of her. He must be loyal to her for life, no matter how badly she treats him, or how much he suffers for unrequited love....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays] 717 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Plot Line Revealed in Act 1 of Shakespeare’s As You Like It Essay - The opening scene of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in which there is nothing light – hearted, is completely expository and contrived but fulfilling its function of revealing the plot line to the audience. The fact that Shakespeare uses this kind of dramatic technique in the first scene twice shows that he wants to make the wickedness of Oliver perfectly clear. The action starts when Orlando, the younger brother decides to rebel against the oppression of his older brother, who is treating him like a common pheasant....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1282 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
As You Like It Essay: Violating the Established Social Order - Violating the Established Social Order in As You Like It       The recent White House sex scandal raised issues about gender, desire, and an established social order - issues that questioned established social norms and ideas about the power and politics of sex. Our society is not the first to recognize the effects that sexual politics and gender relations have had on social order, however. The works of William Shakespeare are ample evidence that Elizabethan England was firmly in touch with these notions....   [tags: Shakespeare As You Like It Essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
2138 words
(6.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]

Related Searches




He knows he is serving his lusts and that that is no good basis for a lasting and significant marriage. But the play builds up no severe indictment against what he is doing, and Audrey herself makes no protest. So this most unlikely of unions becomes part of the celebration of love at the end of the play, an expression of the comic variety of the experience, rather than offering any ironic commentary.

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com