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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: July ::
Questions on Things Said by Jaques

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0172  Wednesday, 27 July 2011

From:         Philip Weller < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         July 26, 2011 1:08:10 PM EDT
Subject:     Questions on Things Said by Jaques

I'm writing notes on As You Like It and have questions about couple of things Jaques says.

#1:
After getting Amiens and the other musical members of the Old Duke's merry men to sing a verse that mocks the singers, Jaques says, "I'll go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt." (http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/as_you_like_it/As_You_Like_It_Act_2_Scene_5.html#59). I believe that the business about sleeping is Jaques' way of telling the others that he's bored with them, but I don't understand what point he's trying to make in saying "I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt."

#2:
When Jaques joins the Old Duke's party for the sylvan banquet, looking "merrily" for once, he celebrates his discovery of Touchstone, and exclaims, "A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest, / A motley fool; a miserable world!" (http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/as_you_like_it/As_You_Like_It_Act_2_Scene_7.html#12). In the following lines, he continues in the same celebratory vein. --My question is, how does "a miserable world!" fit in?

If you have some insights, I’d be grateful.

--Philip Weller

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