1/13/2019

Character of Touchstone (As You Like It)

7.  Estimate the role of Touchstone in As You Like It.      Ans.  Touchstone is a professional jester who enjoys unlimited freedom of speech to make satirical remarks about anyboody not crossing the bounds of decency. As he wore motley or parti-colored clothes, Jaques called him a motley-fool.    Sometimes Touchstone makes jokes for the fun of it. WhenCelia. in the forest of Arden, feels tired and says that Rosalind and Touchstone should, “bear with” her, meaning that they should have patience with her, Touchstone remarks that he would not mind bearing with her as long as he does not have to bear her (or to carry her on his back). Here he is playing on the word “bear”. “To bear with” somebody means “to have patience with that somebody; while the word “bearb” alone means “to carry”. Thus, in Touchstone’s remark there is a pun upon the word “bear”.    Touchstone has an anti-romantic attitude towards love and life. Overhearing Silvius’s talk about love, Rosalind remembers her own love for Orlando. Touchstone thereupon parodies romantic love and says that he too was in love at one time of his life with Jane Smile. But one night when he visited his beloved’s house he was so annoyed to find his rival also present there that he inflicted a severe punishment upon that rival. Now it is interesting to learn that his rival was no other than the sword which he himself carried with him. We find his another interesting attitude when he says that he used to kiss cow’s udder because this cow has been milked by his beloved Jane Smile, and because her hands had touched the cow’s udder.    Touchstone’s attitude towards Audrey, the woman whom he wishes to marry, shows his anti-romantic attitude. He does not pay any compliments to her, he does not try to humour her; he does not speak about her beauty or charm. On the contrary he speaks to her, and about her, in a patronizing manner.    Touchstone does not play any part in the action of the drama. He contributes only a minor sub-plot to the play. But his importance in the play is two-fold. Firstly, he presents a contrast to the romantic lovers. He regards love as merely a means of satisfying sexual urge and looks upon marriage as an arrangement for ensuring the regular satifaction of sexual desire. Secondly, Touchstone serves as a commentator who describes people’s behaviour in a realistic manner, and who at the same time ridicules the follies and the absurdities which people commit.


  Touchstone is a professional jester who enjoys unlimited freedom of speech to make satirical remarks about anyboody not crossing the bounds of decency. As he wore motley or parti-colored clothes, Jaques called him a motley-fool.

Sometimes Touchstone makes jokes for the fun of it. When Celia in the forest of Arden, feels tired and says that Rosalind and Touchstone should, “bear with” her, meaning that they should have patience with her, Touchstone remarks that he would not mind bearing with her as long as he does not have to bear her (or to carry her on his back). Here he is playing on the word “bear”. “To bear with” somebody means “to have patience with that somebody; while the word “bearb” alone means “to carry”. Thus, in Touchstone’s remark there is a pun upon the word “bear”.

Touchstone has an anti-romantic attitude towards love and life. Overhearing Silvius’s talk about love, Rosalind remembers her own love for Orlando. Touchstone thereupon parodies romantic love and says that he too was in love at one time of his life with Jane Smile. But one night when he visited his beloved’s house he was so annoyed to find his rival also present there that he inflicted a severe punishment upon that rival. Now it is interesting to learn that his rival was no other than the sword which he himself carried with him. We find his another interesting attitude when he says that he used to kiss cow’s udder because this cow has been milked by his beloved Jane Smile, and because her hands had touched the cow’s udder.

Touchstone’s attitude towards Audrey, the woman whom he wishes to marry, shows his anti-romantic attitude. He does not pay any compliments to her, he does not try to humour her; he does not speak about her beauty or charm. On the contrary he speaks to her, and about her, in a patronizing manner.

Touchstone does not play any part in the action of the drama. He contributes only a minor sub-plot to the play. But his importance in the play is two-fold. Firstly, he presents a contrast to the romantic lovers. He regards love as merely a means of satisfying sexual urge and looks upon marriage as an arrangement for ensuring the regular satisfaction of sexual desire. Secondly, Touchstone serves as a commentator who describes people’s behaviour in a realistic manner, and who at the same time ridicules the follies and the absurdities which people commit.

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