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Consider the importance of family relationships in 'As You Like It'. Explain how Shakespeare presents various family relationships. Comment on what the play suggests about conflict or harmony between generations.

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Consider the importance of family relationships in 'As You Like It'. - Explain clearly how Shakespeare presents various family relationships. - Comment on what the play suggests about conflict or harmony between generations. 'As You Like It' depends largely on the portrayal of relationships for an array of purposes; the relationships provide comedy for the audience, and induce empathy and various other emotions. There are many family relationships in 'As You Like It', varying from parent and child bonds to husband and wife commitments - there are many new such commitments at the end of the play. Firstly, I shall discuss the importance of the father-daughter relationships between Duke Senior and Rosalind, and Duke Frederick and Celia. The second scene of the play details Rosalind mourning her banished father, which makes the audience realise the caring qualities in her nature: "Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure." ...read more.


The relationship between Duke Frederick and Celia appears to be less valued than that between Rosalind and her father, because when Duke Frederick decides to banish Rosalind, Celia unhesitatingly joins her, showing her strength of character to be able to leave her father: "Duke Frederick: ... Firm and irrevocable is my doom Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd. Celia: Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege. I cannot live out of her company." Family relations are even to blame for Rosalind's banishment, and Duke Frederick's dislike for Orlando, because he discovers that Orlando's father was Sir Rowland who was very close to Rosalind's usurped father. This complicated set of family connections depicts the nature of the play, and how it conveys the conflict between generations due to relations. ...read more.


Celia and Oliver wed at the same time as Rosalind and Orlando, Phebe and Silvius, and Audrey and Touchstone. Shakespeare suggests that the style of each pair's relationships will vary because of the character's personalities - for example the audience does not doubt that the purpose of Audrey and Touchstone's marriage is more sexual than that of Rosalind and Orlando, who seem to be marrying for true love. Therefore, the purpose of family relationships in 'As You Like It' is also to indicate the personalities of the characters. Consequently, relationships are vital in the play because they allow the audience to appreciate more fully the disposition of each individual in 'As You Like It'. I personally believe that 'As You Like It' reveals how family relationships are often a lot more difficult to maintain than friendships, yet friendships seem to be more valuable to the characters; nevertheless each character still strives to create their own, chosen families by marrying. Nikki Burton L6KM *1* ...read more.

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