Act IV, Scene 1
Jaques wishes to be better acquainted with Ganymede (Rosalind). However, Rosalind isn’t so sure because Jaques is so sad all the time. She feels that someone who is overabundant is happiness or sadness makes for dull company. Jaques sees nothing wrong in being sad and silent. Rosalind sees nothing wrong with being a post. Jaques explains that his style of melancholy is all his own and has been formed by his travels and constant thinking. Rosalind thinks his travels have made his eyes wealthy, but his hands poor. Jaques concedes to her point and Rosalind (Ganymede) argues that she would rather have a fool to make her merry than experience to make her sad.
Orlando enters and Jaques quickly departs. Orlando calls Rosalind by her name because Ganymede is helping him with his love troubles. Rosalind chides him for being so late to woo her. Orlando doesn’t think he was that late, but Rosalind argues that him being late at all means that he doesn’t really love her. He is banished from her presence. She would rather be wooed by a snail because at least he brings his house and fortunes with him.
Rosalind quickly changes her tune and demands to be wooed. She asks Orlando how he would begin. He says with a kiss and she explains that a kiss would be all wrong. He has to speak gentle things and then go in for the kiss. He asks what he should do if the kiss is denied. That’s a whole new game. He wonders how he could be out of favor. She finds no trouble in it and insists she will not have him. He accepts his own death at that point.
Well, Rosalind can’t have that. She puts forth examples of the great lovers/heroes of myth. All of them died, but none of them died for love. Orlando insists that he would be killed by a simple frown from Rosalind. Now he is on the right track and Rosalind promises to give him anything he wants. He wants her love. She gives it to him by setting up a fake marriage ceremony where Celia is the officiant. Rosalind wonders if Orlando will love her even when she is happy, sad, or angry. When her crazy lady emotions get in the way of his good time. He wonders if Rosalind would be that way. Ganymede (Rosalind) insists the two would be the same. Orlando knows that Rosalind is wise, which Rosalind agrees with. However, Rosalind also has quite a wit as well. Orlando is okay with having a witty wife.
Orlando has to go join the Duke for dinner, but will be back in a few hours. Rosalind can’t wait. She warns him not to be late and he promises to arrive on time.
Celia is a little offended at how Rosalind portrayed women. Rosalind is too in love to care. Rosalind is going to go pine for Orlando while Celia sleeps.
Act IV, Scene 2
Jaques asks who killed the deer. A Lord admits to the deed. Jaques thinks they should present it to the Duke like a Roman conqueror. He also thinks they should put the horns on the Duke’s head.
Then, he asks the Forester for a song fit for the occasion. He has just the song…
Act IV, Scene 3
Rosalind is full of despair because Orlando is late AGAIN! Celia figures he’s sleeping.
Silvius comes in to deliver a note from Phebe. He doesn’t know what it says, but judging by her demeanor as she wrote it, it’s an angry letter. Rosalind is taken aback by the letter, which explains that Ganymede is pretty much the worst man ever and she wouldn’t love him if he was the last man on Earth. Rosalind can’t understand why Phebe is so angry with him (her). She assumes Silvius wrote the letter. He insists that he had nothing to do with it. Rosalind simply refuses to believe that a woman could write something so mean. Silvius believes it because she was much meaner to him. That thought makes Celia pity the poor shepherd, but Rosalind will have none of that. She sends Silvius away telling him to tell Phebe that she charges her to love Silvius.
Surprisingly, Oliver shows up. He’s looking for Ganymede and his sister. Orlando has sent them a bloody handkerchief…like you do. It turns out Orlando stumbled upon Oliver sleeping under a tree. A snake had been around Oliver’s neck, but it slithered away as Orlando approached. That is when Orlando saw a lioness ready to pounce the moment Oliver stirred. Orlando briefly thought about leaving his horrible brother to die, but then decided to be nice and kill the lion.
The brothers made up and went to the see the Duke. Later, they were together in a cave when they realized Orlando had been bleeding from his arm the whole time. Oliver tended to Orlando’s wounds until Orlando sent him forth to see Rosalind.
Rosalind passes out and upon waking asks to go home. Celia agrees to take her back to the cottage with Oliver’s help. Oliver comments on how unmanly Ganymede seems. Rosalind tries to play it off as a ruse, but Oliver doesn’t quite believe it. Oliver departs to tell Orlando what happened.
Act V, Scene 1
Audrey is ready to be married, but Touchstone needs to settle something first. There is another man who claims Audrey’s hand, William, who happens to be heading their way right now. Touchstone confirms that it is William, asks him a few questions about his wealth and intelligence, confirming that he is the ‘better’ man. Touchstone tells William to leave Audrey alone forever, or he will kill him. William agrees and leaves.
Act V, Scene 2
Oliver tells Orlando about his plan to marry Aliena (Celia). It was love at first sight and they will be married tomorrow. Oliver will give their family estate to Orlando because he is going to live in the woods and be a shepherd now. Orlando is on board with this plan and promises to bring the Duke and everybody to see his brother get married.
Ganymede (Rosalind) comes in to see how Orlando is doing. It is upsetting for her to see him so injured. She makes sure that Oliver told Orlando how she pretended to swoon at the sight of his blood. Oliver did, along with a lot of other hot gossip. Rosalind can hardly believe Oliver and Aliena fell in love so quickly. Orlando confesses that it will be difficult to watch his brother get married when he isn’t able to marry Rosalind. Ganymede can solve that problem. You see, Ganymede is a magician and has the ability to bring Rosalind to the wedding tomorrow. Orlando has trouble believing it, but promises to show up at the wedding ready to get married.
Phebe storms in with Silvius trailing behind. She doesn’t understand why Ganymede is so mean to her. Rosalind tells her to love Silvius and then tells Silvius to explain what love is. He explains that it is to think of nothing but the other person, to love and serve that person, and it is to devote everything to that person. Silvius feels it for Phebe. Phebe feels it for Ganymede. Orlando feels it for Rosalind and Ganymede (Rosalind) feels it for no woman. After some more pining for their loves, Rosalind lays down the law. She tells everyone to come to the wedding and prepare to be married. She even tells Phebe that if she marries a woman, it will be Phebe. They all agree.
Act V, Scene 3
Touchstone tells Audrey that they will be married tomorrow because why not, everyone else is. Then some of the Duke’s pages come by and Touchstone asks them for a song. They oblige and then he tells them they were out of tune. The pages disagree. Touchstone insists he is correct and tells Audrey to follow him.
Act V, Scene 4
The Duke asks Orlando if Ganymede can really do everything he says. Orlando is suspicious, but hopeful. Ganymede (Rosalind) brings in Silvius and Phebe. She confirms with everyone that the plan is for Orlando to marry Rosalind, with the Duke’s permission. For Phebe to marry Ganymede, unless she doesn’t want to anymore, in which case Phebe will marry Silvius. Silvius, of course, agrees to marry Phebe. Rosalind and Celia go off to do their magics.
The Duke remarks on how much Ganymede looks like his daughter. Orlando agrees, but he can’t be Rosalind because he was born in the forest and has a magic uncle.
Touchstone and Audrey arrive to join in the group marriage. Jaques introduces him to the Duke as the fool who swore he was a courtier. Touchstone insists that he was a courtier and has done all the things a courtier has done including flattering a lady, fighting with a friend, smooth-talking an enemy, quarrelling with four men and fighting one. Jaques wants to know why he fought the one man, but Touchstone would rather talk about the upcoming wedding. Jaques asks again. It was because he said he didn’t like a man’s beard repeatedly.
Rosalind and Celia re-enter with a song. The Duke and Orlando are both surprised to see Rosalind. Phebe now understands and agrees to marry Silvius. The priest starts the nuptials, but the ceremony is interrupted by the arrival of Orlando and Oliver’s other brother, Jaques de Boys. (Yes, his name is also Jaques. No, I don’t know why). He explains that Duke Frederick was getting ready to march right into the forest and take down all these courtiers that kept fleeing from his court. However, he was stopped along the way by a religious man, who converted him. The Duke decided to give up his crown and fortunes and basically give everyone back everything he took from them.
Everyone is pretty excited to be able to go back home, but first, they party! Jaques (O.G. Jaques) decides he would rather stay in the woods with Duke Frederick and listen and learn from the religious.
Rosalind delivers the epilogue, which she acknowledges is odd, but whatever they do what they want. She hopes the ladies liked the play and she hopes the men – because they love their ladies – also liked the play. If she were a woman (remember women were played by men in Shakespeare’s day), she would kiss all of the men who fit her fancy. She hopes those same men will bid her farewell as she leaves the stage.