This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

As You Like It Essay

1761 words - 7 pages


“As You Like it presents an image of human life, not as an arena for heroic endeavour, but as a place of encounters.” Consider some of the encounters presented in the play, and their significance to its insight into human life.

     “Man in his Time plays many parts , his Acts being seven ages.” Here we are given two different worlds, with colourful characters ranging from “the Lover sighing like Furnace with a woeful Ballad” to the “Last scene of all” when Man revert to their “second Childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans Eyes, sans Taste, sans everything.”
     The stage in the Courts and Forest of Arden served not to dish out mere swashbuckling heroes or heroines . In fact, we are presented with the likes of romantic lovers like Orlando and Rosalind. The emphasis on heroism and bravery is left to its minimum and usually these deeds are plot-movers, used to further the play. Amor Vincit Omnia is never more approriate to describe this play .Love is one of the basis of human life and it is usually through love and love-lost that one can gain an insight into the various characteristics of life. “There is sure another Flood toward, and these couples are coming to the Ark” , abundant love is illustrated by the numerous lovers in the play. Yet love is not merely romantic love, it also encompasses “sisterly love” , brothery love, love between companions and even love in the form of loyalty between the master and his servant. The play is opened with a scene depicting love-lost.Brotherly love ceased to exist and in the case of the brothers, Orlando and Oliver ,it breds evil. Oliver felt that he is “altogther misprized” by his “gentle never school’d and yet learned full of noble devices” brother, Orlando .In Oliver’s jealousy fit, he first tried to kill Orlando through manipulating Charles the wrestler and later, attempted to set fire to Orlando’s lodgings.
This encounter parallels an incident when Duke Frederick chids Celia ,“ she robs thee of thy name.” Jealousy is undeniably a character flaw in human beings and by setting it on stage for the audience to watch, a form of subtle moralization.
     Nature and Fortune govern the lives of many and we see these two factors being discussed by the pair of Juno swans, Rosalind and Celia. “Nature hath made a fair creature may she not by fortune fall into the fire” Looking at the fortunes of the fair creatures, Rosalind and her lover, Orlando, we see how Fortune ill-favoured them, and it is with their wits do they flout at Fortune. There is a message to the audience, that Fortune has a hand in one’s life but it is not the only determining factor. Like little andecdotes to inspire, various happenings are thrown along our way to show how one is able to change one’s fortune. “Devise with me how we may fly” as Celia urges Rosalind to “seek my Uncle in the Forest of Arden.” Characters in this play do not resign to their fate , in...

Find Another Essay On As You Like It

Relationships in Shakespeare's As You Like It

1450 words - 6 pages Relationships in As You Like It      "Pronounce that sentence on me, my liege. I cannot live out of her company"(Shakespeare quoted in Norton Anthology 1611). Who made these remarks about the dear Rosalind, was it Celia, the one whom she calls 'coz', or is Orlando the man that she is in love with? The question then becomes if Celia said these words what was her meaning. Is it that Celia is attracted to Rosalind as more than a friend or is

Journeys in Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'

866 words - 3 pages STRUCTURED PARAGRAPHSAOS: JOURNEYSText may show us that the world of inner journeys involve unexpected encounters. To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea. In your response refer to your prescribed text and one chosen textThe unexpected encounters one is confronted with throughout a journey transform . Through this, they are able recognise their obligations to themselves and others. In Shakespeare's 'As You like It

Feminism in "As You Like It" - Essay

1750 words - 7 pages As You Like It: A Feminist Play Feminism in Shakespeare’s era was an entirely different subculture than the third-wave movement that we experience in modern times. In the seventeenth century, women were extensively challenged with expressing themselves in a strictly patriarchal system that generally refused to acknowledge or grant merit to women’s views and declarations of individuality. Though modern day feminism was nonexistent, many women

Why is 'As You Like It' described as a comedy?

1146 words - 5 pages As You Like It is described as a comedy as it portrays many comic traits. As L.J Potts (1996:99) states '[its] structure [....] follows a pattern appropriate to comedy,' and it gives rein to humour in dramatic situations. The themes that are so common in comedy dramas such as searching, disguise, night to day movement, self discovery, marriage, tragic overtones and monetary interest are all predominant throughout the play. The turning of man to

A Forest Fated to Do Things “As You Like It”

2456 words - 10 pages 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

As You Like It written by William Shakespeare

1129 words - 5 pages Actually, this play chronologically set between 1598 and 1600s. This homonymous play published, after Williams Shakespeare’s death, in the First Folio in 1623, with other plays and sonnets written by him. As You Like It characterized as pastoral comedy. According to a definition of what is the pastoral comedy, Pastoral genre is regularly, a pastoral story includes banishes from urban or court life who escapes to the shelter of the wide open

Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It

1836 words - 7 pages Aging In the Reanissance and As You Like It       Life starts upon the exit from the mother's womb. From that moment, time marches on until the inevitable death occurs to take one once again from the world of the living. Life and death fascinated various playwrights and authors of the Renaissance. Shakespeare made his interest in aging known in many of his plays and sonnets. He approaches this continuing theme from many angles. In many of

Gender and Social Norms in Shakespeare's As You Like It

1706 words - 7 pages Gender and Social Norms in As You Like It        Shakespeare based his comedy As You Like It primarily on three other works.  Its plot follows the basic structure of Rosalynde, published in 1590 by Thomas Lodge.  The Tale of Gamelyn, written by an unknown author in the mid-fourteenth century, is a violent Middle English narrative that was found among Chaucer's papers and provides further details for Shakespeare's work.  With the Forest of

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

Gender and Politics in Shakespeare's As You Like It

1842 words - 7 pages Gender and Politics in As You Like It        William Shakespeare and the new millennium seem to be diametrically opposed, yet his works are having a renaissance of their own after 400 years in the public domain. Why have some major film producers revisited his works when their language and staging would seem to be hopelessly outdated in our society?Perhaps because unlike modern writers, who struggle with political correctness, Shakespeare

Shakespeare's As You Like It - The Many Flavors of Love

1489 words - 6 pages As You Like It:   The Many Flavors of Love         As You Like It is remarkable among Shakespeare's plays for ending with four marriages, something of a record even among comedies. Love is a central theme of the play, although in some of its variations it cannot quite be said to be romantic! The love relationships may, at first glance, appear to be stock types: Rosalind and Orlando representing romantic hero-heroine love, Silvius and

Similar Essays

As You Like It Essay

1460 words - 6 pages Shakespeare's As You Like It is a romantic comedy premiered around 1599 or 1600. The play is said to be directly derived from Thomas Lodge's famous novel called Rosalynde. As You Like It is a merry play with lots of sunshine, love, laughter and song. The setting of the play moves between two worlds one is the city, which is ruled by Duke Frederick and the other is the forest -the Forest of Arden. Most of the play takes place in the Forest of

As You Like It Essay

905 words - 4 pages good qualities reflect badly on himPassive verbs "keeps me" "lets me" and "bars me" highlight Orlando's powerlessnessOliver has rejected social convention in his usurping of the chain and the social obligations it representsOrlando is debased emphasized by animal imageryOne's environment is capable of either inhibiting or nurturing an individual's sense of belonging. In As You Like It, Shakespeare establishes a stark dichotomy between the "painted

As You Like It Essay

875 words - 4 pages In William Shakespeare’s, ‘As You Like It,’ the tension between appearance versus reality is the result of the deceptive nature of the circumstances the characters of the play find themselves in. When Rosalind dresses as a male figure, she disguises her true identity and challenges the conventions of the preconceived ideas of gender roles. Thus, in several aspects, the subversion of the role she adopted through disguise eventually becomes more

Love In Shakespeare's As You Like It

1754 words - 7 pages Love in As You Like It         Throughout the centuries, men have pondered many great questions. Among these is the question: "What is love?" There is no doubt that the greatest name in English literature, Shakespeare, sought to answer this question for himself. Indeed, Shakespeare recorded his answer in many of the sonnets and plays he wrote, including As You Like It. As Shakespeare learned in seeking to answer this question, love is