“But these are all lies: men have died from time
to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.”
Rosalind says this to Orlando in Act IV, Scene (I) of William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “As You Like It.” While Rosalind and Orlando are in the Forest of Arden, Rosalind in her love prattle teases him. Orlando exclaims that if he is rejected by Rosalind, he will die and that he talks some joy in saying that she is like his Rosalind as it gives him the opportunity of talking about her.
Rosalind asks him to die by substitute. She expresses that this world is almost six thousand years old and in all these years there has never seen any man who died for his own person, especially for love Troilus did whatever he could to die for the cause of his love but failed and eventually was killed with a spear thrown at him by Achilles. Thus he was killed in a battle and not for love. Leander would have lived for many a year despite Hero, his beloved turning a nun. Had it not been for a hot midsummer night when this good youth had gone to cool himself in Hellespont? So all these are nothing but false events. Men have died from time and worms have eaten them up as well but not for love.
Rosalind with her fund of classical knowledge of learning maximizes the love’s Jacques and now it is Orlando. She is at her best in retorts and repartees when she is alone with Orlando.