Touchstone is Duke Frederick’s jester, and so fond of Celia that he is willing to abandon the court to follow her to the forest, for all that he does not enjoy rural life.
His folly is based on a solid ground of common sense, for he will have little to do with the high-flying phrases of love surrounding him, much preferring to mock poetry and to woo Audrey for determinedly physical reasons. He hopes to marry her with the help of Sir Oliver Martext for the very reason that it will be easy to break the wedding on the grounds of an incompetent ceremony once he’s had enough of the goatherd. He mocks Jaques by imitation without the latter realizing it, and attempts to debate matters with all comers, though Corin manages to defeat him by refusing to play along. His greatest gift is perhaps his ability to see both sides of an argument, but this does not mean that he is fair: he is not above using his courtly ways to mock and overawe simpler folk, particularly when he threatens William. In many ways, he is Jaques’s non-melancholic mirror.