As You Like It Summary
Orlando, the youngest son of Sir Roland de Boys, is ill-treated by his brother Oliver. When he responds to the overall challenge issued by the Duke’s wrestler, Charles, Oliver tells Charles to injure Orlando if he can manage it. The Duke’s daughter, Celia, and her cousin, Rosalind, watch the match and Rosalind falls crazy with Orlando. Orlando wins but the Duke gets angry when he discovers that Orlando is that the son of his old enemy, Sir Roland de Boys. Rosalind gives Orlando a sequence to wear and he falls crazy together with her.
The Duke unexpectedly banishes Rosalind and she or he decides to seek out her father, the important Duke, who has been overthrown by his brother, Celia’s father, Frederick. Duke Senior lives within the forest of Arden. alongside the court jester, Touchstone, the women began, disguised as a rustic boy, Ganymede, and his sister, Aliena. Coincidentally, Orlando, fearing for his life, has also left home, amid his father’s servant, Adam.
In the forest, the group from the court encounters a young shepherd, Silvius, and watch him being rejected by a shepherdess, Phoebe, as he declares his love for her. They meet an old shepherd, Corin, who is trying to find someone to require over the sheep farm. Ganymede, who wants to settle within the forest, buys the lease.
Duke Senior, unaware that his daughter is trying to find him, lives an easy life with some courtiers and huntsmen. one among them is that the melancholy Jaques, who reflects constantly on life. Orlando and Adam arrive and therefore the outlaws welcome them and feed them.
Orlando hangs some love poems that he has written to Rosalind from the branches of trees. Rosalind and Aliena find them. Ganymede helps him to cure his lovesickness by wooing him, Ganymede, as if he/she were Rosalind. a rustic girl, Audrey, falls crazy with Touchstone and abandons her faithful William due to her love for the fool.
Oliver is checking out his brother. He has an accident and Orlando saves his life. Orlando is slightly injured and when he tells Ganymede about it she faints. Oliver and Celia fall crazy. Phoebe falls crazy with Ganymede. It all becomes very complicated. Hymen leads a masque; Rosalind re-emerges as a lady, and her father gives her to Orlando; Phoebe accepts Silvius; Orlando’s older brother returns from university with the news that Celia’s father, Frederick, has retired as Duke to become a hermit; Jaques goes to hitch him. there’s a joyful dance to celebrate the four marriages and therefore the happy ending.
And that’s a fast As you wish It summary. What are your thoughts – anything unclear, or missing? Please allow us to know within the comments section below.
Shakespeare deals with many themes throughout As you wish It that relate to the Elizabethan society he worked in. one among those themes is that of primogeniture, a policy whereby the eldest son inherits everything. Orlando, being the youngest brother in his family, faces the matter that he has received a meager inheritance as a result of this rule. Oliver also happens to be a nightmare version of the tyrannical older brother. He plots against Orlando and tries to possess the wrestler Charles to kill his younger brother. Shakespeare’s questioning of primogeniture is given an extra twist within the play by the very fact that Duke Frederick has usurped the dukedom from his older brother. the difficulty of inheritance is, therefore, an underlying theme throughout this play and can’t be ignored.
A further comparison between the play and England is that the regard to Duke Senior and his men as Robin Hoods. they’re described as, “they live just like the old Robin Hood of England” (1.1.100-101). Shakespeare thereby conjures up a picture of England albeit we are in a foreign country. This serves to form the play more immediately for his audience. Invoking Robin Hood also serves a second purpose, namely that of the building which Duke is sweet and which Duke is evil. Robin Hood may be a story that each one Elizabethan theater audiences would are conversant in and it’s how to right away give Duke Senior a personality without having to write down too many lines for him into the play.
One of the brilliant things about As you wish it’s the way Shakespeare invokes double-meanings. this is often frequently through with word association. The forest of Arden, Ardenne, Arcadia, or Eden may be a prime example. Ardenne maybe a forest that’s located between France, Luxembourg, and Belgium, whereas the Forest of Arden is an English forest located near where Shakespeare was born in Warwickshire. Arden also happens to be the surname of Shakespeare’s mother. The play itself includes pastoral themes from The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney, thereby invoking the image of Arcadia or paradise. The word further bears a resemblance to Eden, the biblical paradise where Adam and Eve first got together, not a completely unrealistic interpretation given the four marriages with which the play ends.
A further combination of words is that of Orlando, Rowland, or Roland. Merely by mixing up the letters, it’s easy to ascertain how similar the 2 names are. Indeed, Orlando is usually compared to his father, Sir Rowland. This man, who is deceased already when the play begins, bears a striking resemblance to Charlemagne’s Sir Roland, an excellent medieval knight. Orlando follows during this spirit, saying, “and the spirit of my father, which I feel is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude” (1.1.19-20). Orlando will cash in of his inborn greatness to defeat Charles the Wrestler and later save his brother from a lion.
Themes of sexuality and sexual identity run rampant throughout this play. There is an excellent deal of homosexual overtones between most the characters, men and ladies. this is often first evidenced by the outline of Rosalind and Celia. Charles says, “never two ladies loved as they do” (1.1.97), which “she [Celia] would have followed her [Rosalind’s] exile, or have died to remain behind her” (1.1.94-95). Celia later tells Rosalind, “herein I see thou lovest me not with the complete weight that I like thee” (1.2.6-7). Later, Celia argues together with her father about separating them,
In this description of Rosalind and Celia, they’re like Hermia and Helena during a Midsummer Night’s Dream. In much an equivalent way they need to become separated before they will learn to like properly before they will become full women and marry their husbands. Indeed, the whole escape into the forest will serve to separate them within the end, allowing them to emerge as an independent woman instead of “Juno’s swans”.
The names that Rosalind and Celia assume for themselves add to the sexual confusion of the play. Rosalind tells Celia, “look you call me Ganymede” (1.3.119). Ganymede was the cup-bearer of the gods, a young boy whom Jove fell crazy with. Jove changed himself into an eagle and took Ganymede back to heaven with him. The name Ganymede is thus most frequently invoked to explain a sort of homosexual love between an old man and a young boy. Rosalind’s choice of this name becomes important later when Orlando woos her (in the shape of Ganymede) as if she were his Rosalind. Celia’s choice of name, Aliena, means “the lost one”. This name is very appropriate for her because at the start of the play she is indeed the lost one. She is unable to survive without Rosalind, a lady who overshadows Celia throughout the whole play. Celia must, therefore, lose herself to seek out herself. Indeed, one among the explanations for banishing Rosalind is to force Celia to become a lady independent of Rosalind. Duke Frederick tells her, “Thou art a fool. She [Rosalind] robs thee of thy name” (1.3.74). He alone seems to understand that the sole way for Celia to mature is for her to reject or lose Rosalind.
Touchstone is probably one of the foremost interesting characters. His name describes a black mineral wont to test the purity of gold and silver, and in much an equivalent way he will test the wit of these he encounters. He also is a mirror for the opposite characters, reflecting their characteristics on them. Thus when he meets Jaques, he is going to be described as a fool; when he meets Duke Senior he is going to be described as a witty man in disguise (5.4.95-96). Each character sees themselves in Touchstone.
Rosalind’s falling crazy with Orlando coincides together with her banishment from the court. this is often her initiative far away from the protected life. Like numerous of Shakespeare’s characters that fall crazy, she must risk everything if she wants to pursue her love. For Rosalind, this is often made easier by the very fact that Duke Frederick banishes her. As a girl, she is left with none father or lover to believe, a unique situation for the time. Rosalind, therefore, is in a position to go away the security of court and venture into the wilderness, within the end winning Orlando as her future husband.
Silence may be a dangerous theme that Shakespeare invokes in many of his comedies. it’s always a nasty sign, signifying miscommunication or plotting. during this play there’s the silence of Orlando when he meets Rosalind after the match, “I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference” (1.2.225). Rosalind is likewise silent initially, forcing Celia to mention, “Why cousin, …not a word?” (1.3.1-2). Silence must be overcome to possess a mature relationship, and this is often indeed what happens. It quickly is converted into literary love within the next acts. The play culminates in Orlando risking everything by trusting Ganymede to marry Rosalind.
Deception, Disguise, and Gender
As You Like It is structured around acts of deception that complicate the play’s narrative and allow for events to unfold that otherwise might not. The primary tricksters of the play are Rosalind and Celia, who disguise themselves in order to go undetected into the Forest of Arden. Rosalind dresses as a man and goes by the name “Ganymede”; Celia pretends to be a shepherdess and calls herself “Aliena.” By constructing false appearances and presenting themselves dishonestly, Rosalind and Celia incidentally inspire their lovers to act more truly and honestly toward them. When Rosalind is dressed as Ganymede, Orlando reveals to her how deeply he loves Rosalind, without knowing that he is addressing her. Rosalind’s disguise thus permits Orlando to speak more openly and perhaps less intentionally than he might if he knew the true identity of his conversation partner. Celia’s attire does not alter her seeming identity as radically as Rosalind’s, but it, too, changes her lover’s initial conduct around her, by making her seem to be not of courtly upbringing. Whereas Rosalind’s disguise provokes honest speech from her lover, Celia’s tests the honesty of her lover’s love: the fact that Oliver falls in love with her despite her shepherdess’s exterior indicates how genuine his love is.
When Rosalind and Celia act out roles, they alter not only the way they act, but also the way that other people act toward them. These instances of disguise and deception, along with serving as important plot points and providing great comic potential, thus represent the playacting and deception performed by every character in the play and, moreover, by every person in his or her life. They illustrate and exaggerate the extent to which “All the world’s a stage/ And every man and woman merely players.”
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