Scenes 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Scene 2.1 - In the Forest of Arden.
In the Forest of Arden, the banished Duke Senior is enjoying his outdoor life, and rapturously describes to his men how much freer they are living outdoors than they were when they lived at court. Apparently, not even the cold winter wind bothers Duke Senior, for it reminds him that he is really alive and only human; he seems to find books of instruction and moral sermons everywhere in the natural world, learning from the trees, stones and brooks.
The suggestion that the men go and hunt deer reminds one of the lords of something he saw earlier in the day, when the melancholy Jacques -- one of the Duke's men, who is always sympathizing with the forest animals and seeing metaphors in everything - saw a deer which had been shot, and began crying out of sympathy for it. When another herd of deer ran by without paying attention to the injured one, Jacques grew angry and began comparing the deer to human beings, who always ignore those in need, and to the Duke's men themselves, who have come to the forest and begun preying upon the helpless deer. The Duke, who is always very amused by Jacques' mournful talkativeness, tells his men to bring him to where Jacques is so he can entertain himself by listening to Jacques talk.
Scene 2.2 - In Duke Frederick's palace.
Rosalind and Celia have disappeared overnight, along with Touchstone the clown, and Duke Frederick angrily interrogates his servants. No one knows where they might have gone, but one of Rosalind and Celia's servants has reported that she heard the two girls talking admiringly about young Orlando. One lord suggests that they may be hiding out somewhere with him. Duke Frederick decides to summon Orlando's older brother Oliver and force him to help search out the runaways.
Scene 2.3 - At the door of Oliver's house.
Orlando has returned from Duke Frederick's palace to Oliver's home, but at the door his trusty old manservant, Adam, warns him away: Oliver has heard Orlando widely praised for his victory at the wrestling matches, and, inflamed with hate, Oliver plans to burn Orlando alive in his room this very night. Adam assures Orlando that if he enters the house, he will never leave again - he has overheard Oliver vowing to kill Orlando one way or another. The penniless Orlando is at a loss as to where to go, but Adam offers him his own money - the wages he has saved since he was a young boy. Furthermore, he asks Orlando to let Adam come with him as his servant: though he is nearly eighty, he assures Orlando he is still strong. Orlando thanks Adam for his selflessness, and with Adam's five hundred crowns - the money he has saved - they leave together to seek out some lowly, safe place to live.
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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