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Romantic Ideals in 'As You Like It'

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use the 'relationship' between Touchstone and Audrey to develop ideas about romantic ideals in As You Like It? Support your answer by close reference to the play. In the novel As You Like It, Shakespeare utilizes the idea of romantic ideals by exploring Touchstone and Audrey's relationship. Shakespeare uses juxtaposition to contrast ideas about romantic ideals. By placing Touchstone, a man from the court, and Audrey, a woman from the countryside, together, he develops a contrast between the two different perspectives of romantic ideals. Touchstone's method of flirting with Audrey is an accurate representation of the way love is in the court. Touchstone uses complex and intelligent wordplay to seduce Audrey, "For honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar". Touchstone's use of the metaphor 'honey a sauce to sugar' shows us how a stereotypical courtly lover would seduce his love. ...read more.

Middle

Silvius and Phoebe's love is very direct and raw, as Silvius openly announces his desire for Phoebe, "O dear Phoebe/ (you) shall know the wounds invisible/ that love's keen arrows make". Silvius directly tells Phoebe that his heart is wounded by his love for her. This shows us again how the ideal pastoral love is open and sincere. Orlando and Rosalind's relationship is more subtle and suggested. When Rosalind is confessing her love for Orlando to Celia she says, "O coz, coz, coz....thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love" The use of the metaphor 'how many fathom' shows us yet again that an ideal courtly love is implied and restricted. Touchstone and Audrey's relationship however, provides a mix of the two, pastoral and courtly love. Touchstone's flowery verbose confuses Audrey, a simplistic goat herder from the countryside, as courtly love is yet again portrayed as subtle and inferred, whereas pastoral romance is direct and genuine. ...read more.

Conclusion

Touchstone, too becomes affected by the Forest as he openly tells Audrey that he wants to marry her, "But be it as It may be, I will marry thee". We can see that the ideal courtly romance that has been shown by Orlando, Rosalind and Touchstone has become influenced by the ideal pastoral romance. In conclusion, the relationship between Touchstone and Audrey is used by Shakespeare to develop ideas of romantic ideals in many ways. The influence of pastoral love on courtly love is portrayed through the Forest of Arden. Shakespeare also uses juxtaposition, by putting a courtly relationship and a pastoral relationship next to each other. He also puts in Touchstone and Audrey, a man from the court and a woman from the countryside to mix the two ideals together and show us how he develops ideas about romantic ideals through Touchstone and Audrey. By: Marcus Chang 10M ...read more.

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