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MonkeyNotes-As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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Act I, Scene 2

Summary

This scene is set on the lawn outside Duke Frederick's palace, where Rosalind and Celia are conversing with one another. Celia is attempting to cheer up Rosalind, who is saddened by her father's banishment. She assures Rosalind that when she inherits the dukedom from her father, Duke Frederick, she will restore to Rosalind everything that has been wrongly taken away. Moved by Celia's love, Rosalind promises to be more cheerful. She then changes the subject and talks first of falling in love, even just for sport. After switching the conversation again to blind fortune, the girls are interrupted by the arrival of Touchstone, the court fool. After informing Celia that her father has sent for her, he enters into a witty conversation with the girl. They are then interrupted by Le Beau, one of Duke Frederick's courtiers. He tells the ladies that they have missed several good wrestling matches. Charles has already defeated three opponents, leaving them with broken ribs. The last match is about to take place on the lawn nearby; it will be between Charles and Orlando.

Duke Frederick enters with his lords to watch the last wrestling match. When Charles and Orlando take their places, the Duke feels that the odds are unfairly against Orlando. He asks the ladies to persuade him to withdraw from the match. Rosalind and Celia try to talk Orlando out of fighting, telling him that he is too young and no match for Charles. Orlando, however, insists on wrestling, for he does not care if he gets hurt. He tells Rosalind and Celia, "In the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty."

To everyone's amazement, Orlando defeats Charles. Duke Frederick congratulates the young man, but when he finds out that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland de Boys, his mood changes. Since Sir Rowland was his enemy, he has no use for Orlando and departs. Celia is ashamed of the way in which her father has behaved; she tries to make up for his rudeness by encouraging Orlando.

Rosalind is happy to learn about Orlando's parentage, for her own father, Duke Senior, loved Sir Rowland. She also seems to be smitten by the young man. She warmly congratulates Orlando, presents him with a necklace, and comments that he has overthrown more than his enemy. Obviously, it is a case of love at first sight. After they converse, Rosalind departs and Orlando admits that he is hopelessly in love with her.

Le Beau comes to advise Orlando to flee from the court for the capricious Duke is ill-disposed towards him. Orlando also learns from Le Beau that the Duke's malice against Rosalind may break forth at any moment, for he is displeased with the way people praise her for her virtues.

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