Scene 4.1 - In the Forest of Arden.
Rosalind, Celia, and Jacques are walking together in Arden Forest, with Rosalind and Celia in their disguises as "Ganymede" and "Aliena." Jacques would like to get to know "Ganymede" better, but Rosalind/"Ganymede" is not impressed by Jacques' melancholy ways and perpetual depression.
Orlando enters, since it is his appointed hour to court "Ganymede." Jacques, who does not get along well with Orlando (as the two discovered in Scene 3.2), leaves. Orlando now begins to address "Ganymede" as "Rosalind," and to compliment "him" as if "he" were the woman Orlando loves. (This is part of the agreement they made in Scene 3.2 - that Orlando will pretend to court "Ganymede" in order to help him fall out of love with the absent Rosalind. Of course, this has led to a ludicrous tangle: in this scene Orlando is pretending that the handsome boy he knows as "Ganymede" is really his beloved Rosalind, but, as Rosalind and Celia know, "Ganymede" really is Rosalind in disguise! At this point Rosalind is a girl pretending to be a boy pretending to be a girl, and Orlando is romantically courting somebody whom he believes to be a boy - but is pretending, for the moment, to think of as a girl.)
Rosalind - now in two layers of disguise, as Rosalind/"Ganymede"/"Rosalind" - scolds Orlando for having arrived late to his appointment. "Teaching" him in the ways of love, she changed moods quickly, instructs him in how to speak to a woman, and then undercuts his romantic sighing by sharply reminding him, in a well-known and often-quoted speech, that no one has ever really died of love. Then the two become more intimate: when Orlando pleads with Rosalind/"Ganymede"/"Rosalind" to love him and marry him, she tells him that she will. Rosalind then urges the uncomfortable Celia to act the part of a priest and pretend to marry them. Orlando and his "beloved" enact the ritual of a marriage, and then Rosalind swiftly tells Orlando that after marriage people change: he should not idealize his Rosalind too highly, for he will find her very difficult when he is really married to her, and she will certainly never stop talking or using her sharp wit. But despite all this, Orlando will not back down from his claim to love his Rosalind.
Orlando tells Rosalind/"Ganymede"/"Rosalind" that he must leave for two hours, to be with the Duke for dinner (the afternoon meal). Rosalind lets him go, but only after making him swear up and down to return at exactly two o'clock in the afternoon. After Orlando leaves, Celia tells Rosalind that she has been unfair to all womankind in her speeches to Orlando, but Rosalind is not paying attention: she is too obsessed by her love for Orlando. They go off to seek the shade of a tree: Rosalind says she will sigh longingly under it until Orlando returns, and the practical Celia says she'll take a nap.
Browse all book notes|
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Scenes 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Scenes 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6
Scenes 4.2 and 4.3
Scenes 5.1 and 5.2
Scenes 5.3 and 5.4