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MonkeyNotes-As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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Act II, Scene 7

Summary

Once again the scene is set near the cave of Duke Senior, where a meal of fruit and wine has been set under the trees. The duke is waiting for Jaques, who soon arrives in an excited state. He has met a fool in the forest and has found him to be entertaining. He admits that he always admires and envies a fool for his freedom to articulate what he wishes and to criticize whomsoever he pleases.

Suddenly, Orlando rushes onto the scene with a drawn sword. He is in search of food for Adam and is ready to fight for it. He demands that no one eat what is before them until he receives provisions. The duke tells him that desperation has driven Orlando to ill-manners and reminds him that gentleness is always more persuasive. Then he kindly asks Orlando to dine with them.

Orlando apologizes for his behavior and tells the Duke that his faithful servant must be served before he can eat. When the duke tells Orlando to bring the servant, Orlando departs. While they wait for Orlando's return, Jaques describes the seven ages of man, from infancy to old age. He states that all the world is a stage, and all men and women play the seven ages of life upon it.

Orlando returns, carrying Adam in his arms. The servant, after thanking the duke for his hospitality, is eager to eat. As everyone dines, Amiens sings, "Blow, blow thou winter wind." The duke converses with Orlando and is happy to learn that he is the son of Sir Rowland. He offers for Orlando and Adam to join his merry band of followers.

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