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Discuss the different types of love in Act 3 of As You Like It

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Introduction

Discuss the different types of love in Act 3 of As You Like It Rebecca Lau In Act 3, Shakespeare portraits love in different characters' point of views, also showing the different ways love can be expressed in. Orlando and Silvius both express their love openly, not fear of embarrassments. Touchstone's love is very realistic; Phoebe's way of express is very childish; and Rosalind's words are very self-contradicting. Touchstone's point of view of a "wife" is a tool that can be replaced or thrown away at any time. Just from the excuse he gave from not having a proper wedding "for he is not like to marry me well and, not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife", it can show that he doesn't really value this marriage and is already thinking about divorcing before they are even married. Also from the reason he gave about the marriage is just "by so much is a horn more precious than to want", we can tell how he sees Audrey as a person. Audrey in Touchstone's eyes can be seen as an object or just a releasing of sexual needs, he is not respecting her in any point. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Phoebe actually has very little contacts with people outside even the others in the forest. Phoebe actually is very inexperienced with love. Although she didn't say openly, but saying "I had rather hear you chide than this man woo" to a man which she has just saw reveals her affections. Shakespeare here uses dramatic irony, because Phoebe doesn't know that Ganymede is actually a women in disguised. And denying her own love is just like the actions of a child towards his or her first love, so I think she is very inexperienced in love. The love Orlando holds for Rosalind is very inconsiderate. As Rosalind says, he "haunts the forest that abuses out young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on their bards; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies on brambles; all, forsooth, defying the name of Rosalind". He doesn't care how much trouble he is causing to the forest and other people that lives in the forest, just for the sake of his "quotidian of love". He didn't care about Rosalind's feelings whose name is written by him all over the forest, which makes her widely known, just for the sake of his "love". ...read more.

Conclusion

Rosalind is a very ironic character. She comments on love from two different points of views when she is having two different identities. She uses her identities to her greatest benefits, but in return receives a self-contradictory image about love. It is because in Shakespeare's period, all actors were men. Imagine a man playing a woman who plays a man in order to win a man's love, the neat borders of gender becomes hopelessly muddled. I think Rosalind's "Ganymede" identity is use to show that men is actually not much better than women, because the things men can do, women can also do if they want. Shakespeare displays love in many different angles, showing to the audience that love cannot be too realistic like Touchstone, but cannot be too imaginative like Orlando; love is a poison that can bring suffer like Silvius and Phoebe, but can also bring sweetness. The love in "As You Like It" is far to unrealistic that they are not likely to happen, but this is just a hyperbolic play, suggesting that it might occur in another form. Like Rosalind's identities, love need to strike a balance; otherwise they would create problems for others and themselves. ...read more.

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