The characters are still in the forest of Arden and it is during this act that the primary relationships within the novel are allowed to develop. Orlando converses with Rosalind, who has taken the alias Ganymede, and Oliver is reconciled with his brother as well as meeting Celia, whom he will marry at the end of the play.
Rosalind continuously questions Orlando’s love for her in scene one and he states that he will love Rosalind for ‘for ever and a day’. She replies to him that ‘men are April when they woo, December when they wed’. The implications here lie within the seasons of spring and winter; spring symbolises new beginnings and life where winter is representative of death and endings. Because of this Rosalind portrays marriage as something negative for men, however there are suggestions that it is easy to return to spring and therefore a pastoral love as spring immediately follows winter. Furthermore, there are implications that Rosalind believes that the urban and rural can coexist. Where Orlando is absorbed in typically pastoral ideals of love, Rosalind embraces the simplicity of a pastoral romance. She embraces both real and idealised life, and so Shakespeare explores the idea of the urban and rural harmonising through her character.
In scene three, Oliver comes to Rosalind and Celia with news of Orlando’s whereabouts and tells them of Orlando’s fearlessness. We see here that the pastoral has worked to rekindle the love between the brothers by forcing them into a dangerous situation. Oliver says that ‘twice did [Orlando] turn his back’ before love for his brother conquered anger. The pastoral genre holds a great focus on natural instinct, one of them being the idea of unconditional love, and Oliver states that Orlando’s ‘nature, stronger than his just occasion’ made Orlando save him, implying that the natural instinct of love overpowers any negative emotions developed within an anti-pastoral setting. Interestingly the danger within the...