How Does Shakespeare Establish Theme, Character And Plot In Act One Of "As You Like It" ?

1186 words - 5 pages

As in many of Shakespeare's comedies, the plot of As You Like It concerns lovers, and revolves around the overcoming of the obstacles to their love. After Act One, we have seen that Rosalind and Orlando are the central lovers of the play, and that Oliver and the Duke are the main impediments. As well as the theme of love, in Act One we see Shakespeare establishing the themes of jealousy and court versus country.Strong characterisation is essential to the vitality of the plot. In Act One, we are introduced to a varied array of characters: Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone are witty and perceptive, Orlando is passionate and noble, and the Duke and Oliver are villainous and jealous.The play begins in a curious, if not clumsy, manner, with Orlando's words: "As I remember Adam, it was upon this fashion...", followed by a description of Orlando's background. Here we see Shakespeare grown so confident in his writing that he does not attempt to convey the background of the play in a subtle manner. Instead we are treated as efficiently and quickly as possible to the background information, so that the important themes retain the focus.Indeed, we learn a great deal from Orlando's opening speech: he is "unkept" by his brother - denied the education appropriate to his noble birth, and "will no longer endure" his "servitude". His declaration immediately establishes tension.When Orlando comes face to face with his brother, the encounter is violent, and stirs up hatred in Oliver. As a result, Oliver arranges to have Orlando killed by the wrestler Charles ("I'd have as lief thy break his neck"). We are therefore made aware that Oliver will be an obstruction to any love affair involving Orlando.Another obstacle to the would-be love affair between Orlando and Rosalind is the Duke, who looks unfavourably upon both. We see his dislike of Orlando after the wrestling match, with his admission: "I would thou hadst told me of another father". However, his displeasure at Orlando's victory does not extend so far as ordering banishment, and the Duke even admits Orlando is a "gallant youth".Stronger is the Duke's dislike of Rosalind, which extends to hatred - in fact he orders her to leave the court and threatens to kill her. His hatred of Rosalind stems from his hatred of her father - the banished Duke Senior, but is also fuelled by Rosalind's closeness to Celia. He feels his daughter is somewhat eclipsed in the eyes of the court ("she robs thee of thy name").Despite these difficulties, the love between Orlando and Rosalind appears to be firm and powerful. We first see evidence of this love in what appears to be an exhortation half-whispered to herself: "Hercules be thy speed, young man". Furthermore, after the wrestling, Rosalind gives a token of her love, saying "wear this for me". Both Rosalind and Orlando are bowled over by their mutual passion, Orlando confessing "my better parts are all thrown down", and Rosalind admitting to Orlando "You have overthrown more than your...

Find Another Essay On How does Shakespeare establish theme, character and plot in Act One of "As You Like It" ?

Love in "As You Like it" by William Shakespeare.

911 words - 4 pages In the timeless masterpiece "As You Like It," William Shakespeare covers a wide range of serious topics, while still keeping a light-hearted, comedic tone about the majority of the play. One topic that is obviously touched upon in the play is the major theme of different faces of love. In his depiction of the four couples (Orlando and Rosalind, Silvius and Phebe, Oliver and Celia, and Touchstone and Audrey) Shakespeare offers four differing

As You Like It and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

1291 words - 5 pages Shakespearean subtext has been of interest for centuries, to professional scholars and English students and Shakespeare fanatics alike. To most, the subtext is just as important as the writing itself, and this is understandable. Two plays in particular—As You Like It and Twelfth Night—rely significantly on subtext. The audience’s interpretation is based entirely on what is shown to them, including the subtext, and this is on both the

Jaques Speech Act in As You Like It

937 words - 4 pages Jaques Speech Act in As You Like It In William Shakespeare’s As You Like It the speech act is introduced and helps to create a unique insight into the play and its events. Shakespeare integrates a speech act by Jaques to deliver a deeper meaning and lesson to the audience or reader of the work. Jaques in his speech act conveys a message with a much deeper meaning and teaching to society in general. The speech act rendered by Jaques

It is a review and analysis of a play "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare.

1512 words - 6 pages and a strong character. In conclusion, I think that a play is extraordinary because it was radical for Elizabethan times. The idea of a woman playing a male role is one of the remarkable points. Also, the sense of freedom in the woods took off the pressure. In the rest of the plays there was constant feeling of worry about consequences surrounding the characters. This element distinguished a play As You Like It from Ragtime or Superior Donuts. The main feature that I will remember will be not the performance but the unusual atmosphere in the theatre. � �

How Plot, Characterization, and Theme are Effectively Portrayed in Act 1 of Hamlet

2137 words - 9 pages How Plot, Characterization, and Theme are Effectively Portrayed in Act 1 of Hamlet In order to answer the above question, I will divide my essay into three parts first I will look at the plot, second the characterisation and thirdly the theme. Followed by a discussion how these three have been used effectively in the first Act of Hamlet. In Act 1 Scene 1 we first meet Bernardo, Francisco and Marcellus who are officers

Discuss in detail Polanski's interpretation of Act One, Scene One of "Macbeth" and say how effective you found it.

1952 words - 8 pages talking about the plot to kill the King in her sleep. Also it could signify the blood and murder that Macbeth commits to get and keep what he wants and needs.To complete the spell the witches spit on their left, on their right and in front of them. This is to protect the spell and let it work its magic, and by spitting three times, as three is usually associated with being a magic number.The other main prop is the trolley, which seems to hold all the

The Effectiveness of Shakespeare's Exposition of Plot, Character, Theme and Atmosphere in the First Act of Othello

1445 words - 6 pages The Effectiveness of Shakespeare's Exposition of Plot, Character, Theme and Atmosphere in the First Act of Othello The action of the first scene increases the audience’s anticipation of Othello’s first appearance. The audience learn Iago’s name in the second line of the play and Roderigo’s soon afterward, but Othello is not once mentioned by his name. Rather, he is ambiguously referred to as “he” and “him.” He is also

The Character of Rosalind in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It

2741 words - 11 pages The Character of Rosalind in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It   The title of William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy As You Like It, is indicative of the maladjusted perceptions of the characters in the play. Each character in one way or another holds true to off-base viewpoints regarding relationships concerned with love that stir up conflict and strife amongst the characters. This disharmony that plagues the play is only ultimately

How does Shakespeare Explore the Theme of Words and Silence?

1112 words - 4 pages In Much Ado About Nothing, there are many ways in which Shakespeare looks into the theme of words and silence through the characters of Dogberry, Don John and Hero. Shakespeare analyses this theme through how the characters use their own words to help themselves whether it be their weapon, shield or a weapon against themselves. Also, what effect their words have on the audience and other characters such as fear, humour and allowing the audience

Twelfth Night, As You Like It by William Shakespeare

1497 words - 6 pages expresses his love through his plays such as Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Hamlet and many others through his use of wit, humor and dramatic talent. In his life he experienced many ups and downs as we all do. Shakespeare married a women, Anne Hathaway, who was eight years older than he at the ripe age of eighteen. He had a hurried marriage. Just a few months after they had been wed, Susanna was born which meant that the swift marriage was caused

As You Like It written by William Shakespeare

1129 words - 5 pages settle these scores by dropping the hammer on one side or alternate, As You Like It presents an universe of heap decisions and unlimited potential outcomes. In the realm of this play, nobody thing requirement counteract an alternate. Along these lines, the play figures out how to offer both social study and social attestation. It is a play that constantly focuses on the many-sided quality of things, the synchronous joys and aches of being human

Similar Essays

How Does Shakespeare Explore Genre, Themes And The Character Of Jacques In Act 2 Scene 1 Of His Play "As You Like It"?

730 words - 3 pages ' genre, very popular in Elizabethan times, and of which As You Like It is an example. The pastoral genre typically centres around troubled courtiers who leave for the country and learn important lessons from the 'pure' and 'simple' lifestyle and wise rural folk, before returning, reinvigorated, to the court. In exploring the theme of truth and artifice, partly through the character of Jacques, Shakespeare examines and questions the pastoral

Plot Overview Of As You Like It, By William Shakespeare

951 words - 4 pages the Forest of Ardenne, where he lives like Robin Hood with a band of loyal followers. Duke Frederick allows Senior's daughter, Rosalind, to remain at court because of her inseparable friendship with his own daughter, Celia. The day arrives when Orlando is scheduled to fight Charles, and the women witness Orlando's defeat of the court wrestler. Orlando and Rosalind instantly fall in love with one another, though Rosalind keeps this fact a secret

Revelations Of Rosalind's Character In As You Like It

545 words - 2 pages As You Like It is a comedic play written by William Shakespeare. Act 3; scene 3 is a long scene in which Rosalind’s character is revealed in many ways. Shakespeare uses indirect methods of characterization to reveal Rosalind’s personality. Shakespeare shows Rosalind is unaware, love-struck, and crafty by using the indirect methods of a character revealing themselves through their words, private thoughts, and actions. Rosalind is oblivious

"What Does 'as You Like It' Suggest About Romantic Love And Marriage?" An Essay Discussing The Presentation Of Love And Lovers In Shakespeare's 'as You Like It'.

1034 words - 4 pages -earth comments of some of the lovers and the moments of parody in the play. This contrast - that the lovers mock an idea whilst substantiating it - adds to the impression of love as being illogical, unpredictable and unexplainable. It is illogical that Silvius should go on loving the "proud disdainful shepherdess" Phebe, yet he does; it is illogical that love should happen at first glance, yet it does; it is illogical that love should be both a pain and a pleasure, but it is. In calling Cupid a "blind rascally boy" and love a "mere madness" Rosalind ably sums up the portrayal of love in As You Like It.