E: As You Like It (Themes)

LOVEHow is it portrayed? Spoofs many conventions, such as the idea that love brings torment to the lover or that the male is a ‘slave’ to his mistress
LOVEWhat does it challenge? Courtly love tradition, which influenced European literature for generations before Shakespeare
LOVEHow do character react to others suffering in love? They lament it; i.e. – Orlando’s poems “live and die [Rosalinds] slave”; sentiments ridiculed. (III.II)- Silvius asks Phoebe to notice “the wounds invisible/That love’s keen arrows make” (III.V) Implies that a lover can loosen the chains; against tradition
LOVEHow does it break from courtly love traditions? By portraying love as a force for happiness and fulfillment and ridicules those who revel in their own suffering.
LOVEExample of the curative powers of love? Celia in her introductory scene, implores Rosalind to allow “the full weight” of her love to push aside her unhappy thoughts. (I.II)
LOVEWhen does Rosalind display her knowledge of the ways of love? In Ardenne, tutoring Orlando as Ganymede to be more attentive and caring a lover.Councils Silvius against prostrating himself for Phoebe. Scolds Phoebe for her arrogance in playing Silvius.
LOVEQuote showing Rosalind’s true feeling towards love… “[m]en have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” she argues against the notion that love concerns the perfect, mythic or unattainable. (IV. I)
LOVEWho means to disparage love? Touchstone and Jaques who both have keen eyes and biting tongues trained on the follies of romance. Rosalind does not.
LOVEWhat kind of love does Rosalind try to teach? A version that can not only survive in the real world, but can bring delight as well.
LOVEWhen does Rosalind prove that love is a true delight? At the end of the play, when the 4 couples come together. A happy peaceful union.
MALLEABILITY OF LIFESummarise Jaques speech… man passes from infancy into boyhood; becomes a lover, a solider, and a wise civic leader; and then, year by year, becomes a bit more foolish until he is returned to his “second childishness and mere oblivion” (II.VII)
MALLEABILITY OF LIFEWhat does Jaques speech show? how quickly and thoroughly people change, just like in ‘As You Like It.’
MALLEABILITY OF LIFEHow are people changed in Ardenne? Physically, emotionally, spiritually.Everyone who enterers is remarkably changed.
MALLEABILITY OF LIFEWhat is the most dramatic change in Ardenne? Rosalind becomes Ganymede and demonstrates how vulnerable young men are women truly are. Orlando is putty.Phoebes affections are easily manipulated, moving from Ganymede to Silvius with much speed.
MALLEABILITY OF LIFEExplain Shakespeare’s use of time… Dispenses it. Consumes hard-processes involved with the changes. Changes are instantaneous. (i.e., Duke Frederick)
MALLEABILITY OF LIFEWhat does As You Like It say about change? People can and do change.Celebrates their ability to change for the better.
CITY/COUNTRYWhat does Pastoral literature thrive on? Contrast between city and country.Suggests the oppression of town, and freedom in the therapeutic woods. Come back better.
CITY/COUNTRYHow does Shakespeare test the boundaries of the genre? Audrey (shepherdess) not articulate nor pure.
CITY/COUNTRYHow does Shakespeare establish the genre? In the opening scene. Oppression. Dichotomy on which the later acts depend.
CITY/COUNTRYHow is Ardenne described? “in the forest of Ardenne… many young gentlemen… do fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world” – Charles to Duke Senior and his followers (I.I)
CITY/COUNTRYWhat happens in the forest? (Overall) People are healed, lovesick are coupled, usurped Duke returns to his throne.
CITY/COUNTRYWhat does Shakespeare remind us? That life in the forest is temporary.As the characters return to city life, the play doesn’t laud country over city. Suggests a delicate balance.
CITY/COUNTRYSummarise this… The simplicity of the forest provides shelter from the strains of the court, but it also creates the need for urban style and sophistication; one would not do, or even matter, without the other.

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