What flows better than the number three? The Three Little Pigs, the Three Amigos, Goldilocks and the Three Bears; authors tend to write using the archetype pattern of the number three. Even fate can came in a number of three. Patterns make stories predictable yet realistic. Shakespeare displayed both archetype and anti-archetype patterns in the comedy As You Like It. The Forest of Arden served to grant those who knew what they longed for: It brought happiness to all who entered in and open-minded lovers were married, brothers were reunited, and dukedoms were restored. However, if one entered with a heart full with melancholy and unknown longing, their desires remained unquenched in the forest.
As You Like It is most commonly referred to as Shakespeare’s happiest play. The tone of the many characters throughout the play vary from happy to sad, angry to hopeful, and even desperate– while each of them is affected differently by the transforming powers of the Forest of Arden. Shakespeare put many archetypal patterns into this play big and small. The main pattern he brought into this play was happiness. No matter what situation was thrown into the story, it was somehow resolved. That is why the play is titled, “As You Like It”. It is meant to make all viewers content with the ending and attract all viewers in some way. The play contains humor, love, action, violence, and even some depression. No matter what type of play the viewer preferred to watch, they were left satisfied.
The story, As You Like It contained many archetypal symbols, especially in The Forest of Arden. A major pattern the story follows is the pattern of three. One example of this is the three sets of siblings: Orlando and Oliver, Frederick and Senior, and Rosalind and Celia. Even though Rosalind and Celia were not technically sisters, the girls were raised as if they were. The story focused on each relationship with the struggles and intimacy exhibited. Also, the Forest showed an archetypal pattern by solving three major conflicts. By marrying all the lovers, restoring the dukedom to Duke Senior, and reuniting both sets of feuding brothers, the Forest of Arden met the classic template of three. Shakespeare could have just focused on one main plot and further explained the struggles with elaborate details on quests but instead he chose to focus on three different plots and struggles to bring an archetype pattern into focus. 1 Corinthians 13:13 states, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” This is truly displayed in the three plots of “As You Like It”. Another archetype pattern shown was Rosalind being three different people in one body. She was herself, pretending to be Ganymede, pretending to be Rosalind. Not only was her deception an archetype pattern but it demonstrated Shakespeare’s love of trickery.
The Forest of Arden was not only known for its archetype, it also contained anti-archetype in the way it...