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As You Like It: Belonging

Area Of Study Essay structure

Troy Martin

on 27 August 2011

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Transcript of As You Like It: Belonging

To Liberty, and not to banishment Thesis: An individual’s upbringing creates a powerful formative influence over the creation of a sense of belonging. Genuine relationships anchor individuals in identity, worth and connection. As such, the rules of society have bearing on an individual’s potential to belong. One constant in human nature is the tribal nature of humans. At the core of any society are those relationships that shape and reshape us. A sense of self is not a given, but a product of an individual’s environment. Of significant value of all texts is how the responder feels that their own sense of identity is being developed. THE PASTORAL ROMANCE TRADITION Opposed are the corrupt nature of the court and the natural place of the Forest of Arden. Pastoral comedy at the centre of As You Like It was a consciously nostalgic selection from Shakespeare, as a man from the rural looking back upon a simpler style of life in the country, unsullied by the corruptions and unnaturalness of city living. From the opening establishing scenes the contrast between the city and the country found in As You Like It is a core feature of pastoral. • A clear contrast established between the younger (‘good’?) brother and the older (‘bad’) brother

Conflict is created which impacts on the audience arousing their curiosity and creating tension.

• There’s a connection/comparison between these two fighting brothers and the two brother dukes at court where the younger brother has deposed the older one

• There’s also a contrast established between daughters and sons, since the daughters of the two dukes have not been affected by their father’s enmity.

• Two ‘worlds’ are established and juxtaposed. One in the court where there are disagreements and plots and an alternative world in the country – the Forest of Arden – where people live freely without a care in the world. The brothers, Orlando and Oliver, appear to inhabit an in-between world, infected by the jealousies of the court, but with a series of images suggesting rural life and farming.

• There is conflict as well as an example of dramatic irony when we hear Oliver give a very negative version of Orlando’s character to Charles and then hear him immediately give exactly the opposite positive version to the audience. He hates Orlando because his good qualities reflect badly on himself. A Guide To As You Like It Belonging Responses This is no place; this house is but a butchery:
Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it. What shall I call thee when thou art a man? I thank God
I am not a woman Time travels in divers paces with
divers persons. The little strength that I have, I would it were with you. it may be said of him that Cupid
hath clapped him o' the shoulder, but I'll warrant
him heart-whole. Shakespeare is involved in a bit of a balancing act in this play – using the pastoral tradition while he parodies it, using elements from a variety of sources, revelling in romantic love as he has characters criticise it. Shakespeare, a little like his creation Rosalind, appears to use conventions and fashions while he happily questions them, to take love very seriously while he makes fun of it. At the end of this play he does so, in part, by changing form. He moves from romantic comedy to the much more formal world of masque, from the ease of his colloquial prose to the formality of highly structured verse. Part of the great tradition of love is that there is only one true love yet here Rosalind suggest exactly the opposite. Rosalind appears to be like a dramatist, assigning parts, offering a commentary on what is happening and even giving the actors their lines. In terms of belonging she appears to be both inside the emotions of the wedding scene and able to be outside commenting upon what is taking place. Not only is the play itself a reflection of this stratified society from which it comes, but in a theatre like the Globe where it was performed, the strata were clearly visible. In terms of inheritance being the eldest is everything. Orlando, as the youngest brother, actually has no real rights. Economically, property goes to the eldest child and politically, power goes to the eldest child. The only way to prevent this is through violent overthrow of the eldest and this is just what Duke Frederick has done to his older brother, the aptly named, Duke Senior. All this has a particular relevance when the eldest child is female – the case for both Celia and Rosalind. While female children inherit in just the way the males do, this all changes when they marry. Techniques unique to the
dramatic form that represent the
ideal of Belonging and the
desire to be an individual... Parody
Metaphor Thesis
Belonging Depicted
Through and in texts It is Orlando's percieved exclusion from his rightful position that is at the heart of the dramatic arch. As he states in the establishing scene being treated 'like a peasant' plays upon the audience preconcieved ideals about the interaction between social status and identity. The wrong doing of Orlando despite the 'spirit' of 'gentleman-like qualities' acts as an active plot device for Shakespeare's parody of the rigid social hierarchy of Elizabethean England. This emphasis on severe social considerations is a foil for the comical elements of the 'banishment' of Orlando. The court that excluded Orlando laments is in a state of flux 'There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke'. Thus, Shakespeare resolutely contrasts the ideas of preordained social positions with the natural order of desire and love. If Orlando is not forcibly barred from what is rightfully his, the love that acts as binding force between Rosalind and Orlando does not exist.
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