A pastoral comedy. In his usual glorious language.
A duke has been deposed by his brother, though his daughter Rosalind is kept at court with Celia, the brother's; an older brother, Oliver, despises his younger, Orlando, for no good reason.
After a scene with wrestling at the court, where Orlando wins much to the admiration of Rosalind and Celia, the duke's brother decides to exile Rosalind, whereupon Celia goes with her
Thou hast not, cousin;
Prithee be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke
Hath banish'd me, his daughter?
That he hath not.
No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:
Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl?
No: let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go and what to bear with us;
And do not seek to take your change upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.
And Oliver decides to murder Orlando, who flees -- and the duke's brother, having heard that Rosalind and Celia were talking of Orlando, sends Oliver after him, to bring him back.
All are off to the Forest of Arden, where the duke is exiled. Much mirth ensues in their adventures there.