"As You Like It" : Use of Wit and Humour.

 As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s amusing comedies. It keeps us laughing most of the time because of the abundance of wit and humour presented by Rosalind, Touchstone and Jaques.

Rosalind, the heroine of the play, represented natural and healthy type of humour in this play. We find her laughing over a secret joke with Celia, teasing Orlando and tantalizing phebe and Silvius. The finest example of Rosalind’s healthy sense of humour and wholesome wit are to be found in her encounter with Orlando and in the mock wooing. Disguised as a man Rosalind induces Orlando to make love to her and says; “Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour and like enough to consent.” In this scene she makes another memorable remarks, which is the example of her sparkling wit about the attitude of men and women before and after their marriage. Rosalind says: “Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are yet maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.”

Touchstone is a professional fool and his humour is healthy and free from ill-will. In the course of the play he mocks at the verse which Rosalind has found on a tree. He parodies her references to her falling in love with Jane Smile, and that he had taken his revenge upon a rival who too had visited his beloved’s house at the time of the night. Further he kissed the cow’s udder because Jane Smile’s hands had come into contact with udder when she had milked the cow. He enjoys much fun at the cost of Audrey the women whom he wishes to marry and whom ultimately he does marry. He says about her: “A poor virgin, Sir, an ill-favoured thing, Sir, but mine own,”

We then come to Jaques cynical wit, which is in direct contrast with that of Rosalind. His humour makes him dissatisfied with life which had made him a pessimist. We find his cynical wit in his division of man’s life into seven parts where he describes only the seamy sides of human beings. As the moment when everyone in the play is in his or her happiest mood, Jaques remains unaffected by the happy situation and he says: “There is sure another flood toward, and these couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.
To conclude we may say that As You Like It contains a plenty of gaiety, mirth and joyousness. It has been called the sunniest and the merriest of the comedies of Shakespeare because the sky in the play is never overcast. If the sky does become overcast the clouds are sure to melt away soon, giving way to bright sunshine.

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