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The Role Of Music In Theatrical Work: Modern Music That Could Be Used To Enhance Shakespeare's Play "As You Like It"

1705 words - 7 pages

Music is an important element of any theatrical work. It sets up the setting, mood, and emotions for the audience. Different songs can tell stories whether sad or happy. In “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, there are many scenes where the traditional play music can be replaced with modern contemporary and still give the story the same meaning. There are songs that describe the blossoming romance and friendship of Rosalind and Orlando and the theme of reality. And there are others that set up the mood for the setting. The songs that can replace the traditional songs successfully are Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” and “Spring Waltz by Yiruma. Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” relates to and focuses on the scene in Act One where Rosalind and Orlando begin to fall in love for the first time. Here, we are able to utilize this song and get a different feeling for the scene with a modern perspective.
When two people fall in love at their first meeting, it is considered “love at first sight”. This theme is presented in the play during Act One after the wrestling match between Orlando and Charles. After the match, Rosalind immediately fell in love with Orlando, “My pride fell with my fortunes. I’ll ask him what he would. —Did you call, sir? Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown more than your enemies (Shakespeare, 1.2. 213-216).” “Love Story” sets up this scene in the play because Rosalind begins to fall in love with Orlando because she is “overthrown” by him. Orlando also falls in love with Rosalind during this scene as well. Orlando says, “What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference. O poor Orlando! Thou art overthrown. Or Charles or something weaker masters thee (Shakespeare, 1.2. 219-222).” This scene occurred after the wrestling match when Rosalind came to talk to Orlando. However he is too embarrassed and stumbles with his words. Much like Rosalind, Orlando was defeated by Rosalind, in the sense that he has fallen for her as well. These two scenes from the play exhibit the “love at first sight” concept. Taylor Swift displays this concept in the following lyrics from “Love Story”: “We were both young when I first saw you. I closed my eyes and the flashback starts. I'm standing there, on the balcony in summer air. (Taylor Swift, Love Story Lyrics)” These lyrics are significant to this scene in the play because Orlando and Rosalind fell in love when they first saw each other. This signifies an innocent first love.
Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” can also be used in another scene where Rosalind was waiting for Orlando to return because Orlando said that he would return in one hour of the time that they had agreed on. Rosalind said, “Break an hour’s promise in love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but a part of the thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him o' th' shoulder, but I’ll warrant...

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