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As You Like It by William Shakespeare: Essay Question

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Q. To what extent is the Forest of Arden an ideal place A. The Forest of Arden at first glance, is a country life of arcadian contentment, rustic tranquility, a 'golden world' in all its glory. A place to while away the hours like, 'the old Robin Hood of England.' And so is portrayed and backed up with the seemingly content Duke Senior and his merry men. Duke Senior praises the effects of Arden on him stating its different virtues in the forms of a healer, a nurturer and a counselor. Its effects on the people who come from the court are drastic if not almost instantaneous and bring out some unique aspect of their personality which is not yet known. ...read more.


It is the place where she can love Orlando without the strict rules and regulations that governed her previous residence. Likewise Orlando is provided an escape from his brother' oppression where he can leisurely convey his love for Rosalind. On the contrary, the Forest can divert from the pastoral convention as you peer into its harsh realities and its ill-effects on its limited population. Duke senior's opening speech was in reality an attempt to hearten his co-mates and brothers-in-exile. Although thinly veiled with heartening comments about the season's 'icy fang' as a counselor and the 'churlish chidings of the winter's wind' as a sweet use of adversity, it still remains that it is an icy fang and the winds do 'bite and blow upon his body.' ...read more.


But this is not completely so as we see an example of a cruelty and neglect in Corin's master. Moreover Celia, a lively character in the opening act of the play progressively loses her energy as she loses her friend (Rosalind) to forest follies. The forest also comes across as primitive. This is proven by the venison of the forest. The 'poor dappled fools' are subject to cruelty of the most primitive kind in their own dwellings. In conclusion, the Forest of Arden is in fact an ideal place for recuperation and introspection in the sense that many of the characters achieved transformations of sorts. However it is seen (with a few exceptions), that the characters of the play are unwilling to stay in the forest when presented with the alternative of the court. Therefore, the forest may be ideal, but is a short-lived idealness. ...read more.

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