Humour and Wit in As You Like It


In the play As You Like It, one can find at least three distinct types of humour as displayed by various characters. Rosalind’s wit gives us a very healthy kind of humour, Touchstone is employed in the court as a fool so his humour is very professional while Jaques is outrightly known for his melancholy so his humour is morbid.

Rosalind’s Humour

Rosalind’s nature is plain delightful. Her wit brings cheerfulness. She has a great capacity for language and she uses to express everything cleverly while her humour retaining kindness anyway.

Even in the situation closing towards gloomy, she can delicately utter something fun. Her kind of humour is full of tenderness and love. Rosalind’s humour is in connection to Orlando and Celia which is always warm and it never hurts anyone.

Touchstone’s Humour

He is employed in the court professionally as a fool so he is obliged to be funny all the time and he does it in the best way but it comes at the cost of criticising everything.

Suppose, Rosalind finds the love poems of Orlando and is impressed by its sincerity, Touchstone, in order to be funny, must make fun of its quality and form.

His professional status allows him to utter nonsense too. He has a great experience so he can talk on various topics such as philosophical ones to something as simple as shepherd’s life.

Jaques’ Humour

Jaques is a difficult character due to his objective position. He remains at distance and analyses everything. He is known for his melancholy and at times the humour comes out of the way he tries to create melancholy even when it is not naturally there.

His humour displays his deep sensitivities and discontent with this world. He is disillusioned with this world so anything witty and humorous he utters; it comes out in a tiresome manner.

So this is the nature of his humour that it is not naturally healthy like that of Rosalind rather he is fuelled by corruption which has happened in his early life full of happenings and experiences.