• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the Forest of Arden a Place of Liberation?

Extracts from this document...


Is the Forest of Arden a Place of Liberation? This essay attempts to explore the possibilities of the Forest of Arden as a place of liberation in Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'. I will be researching the historical and classical side of the play and considering the possible reasons for Shakespeare's use of the original setting with little change or adaptation. The original idea for 'As You Like It' was taken from Thomas Lodge's 'Rosalynde' published in 1590. The location of the story in a forest is Lodge's idea but Shakespeare named his forest Arden possibly after the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire or as some critics believe Ardennes in Belgium. At the time there was a movement in England to consider rural life as glorious and free. This reflects the classical use of the countryside as a 'sunlit, idealized existence of love and song' (Drabble and Stringer, 1987) known as pastoral. Originally a Roman classical form, pastoral became fashionable during the Renaissance in Italy through Petrarch and others who composed Latin eclogues to their lovers featuring rustic figures, shepherds, shepherdesses, music, song and sheep. ...read more.


'But if thy love were ever like mine - As sure I think did never man love so - ' Silvius Act 2, Scene 4. Corin also has a lot of self respect and pride in what he does; 'I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no mans happiness...and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck. Act 3, scene 2 The characters perceive the forest as a place of safety in troubled times and they view their life in the forest as a positive choice. 'Now go we in content to liberty, and not to banishment.' Act 1, scene 3. This comment is made by Celia as they leave the shelter of the castle. This reflects Celia's optimistic outlook. The Duke Senior too feels safe in the forest and he says in Act 2, scene i 'Are not these woods more free from peril than the envious court?' His admiration for the natural world ignores the privations of cold and loneliness finding 'tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones and good in everything' Act 2, scene 1. ...read more.


Rosalind is much more liberated by men's clothing and takes a masculine role, leading the expedition. 'But I must comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat.' Act 2, scene 4. This shows Rosalind taking the lead and trying to show courage for Celia emphasising Shakespeare's view; men were in charge. The isolation from the court means that the natives live by different rules although they have some awareness of status as in Act 2, Scene 4 Touchstone refers to himself and Rosalind and Celia as 'your betters' to Corin and he replies 'else are they very wretched'. Although the duke and his men are dwelling in the forest they still keep their manners and courtly ways as gentlemen as Duke senior says to Orlando 'Art thou thus boldened, man by this distress? Or else a rude despiser of good manners,' Act 2, scene 7. Jacques is very melancholy character, does he not like the forest and prefers court? He maybe feels more imprisoned in the forest than he does in court because although throughout the forest he can come and go as he pleases he is unable to leave the forest and return to civilisation and the court. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree As You Like It section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree As You Like It essays

  1. Discuss the treatment of love in As You Like It, illustrating your argument with ...

    He is an older man who plays the clown but within this he speaks with wisdom mixed within his cynicism: TOUCHSTONE: We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.

  2. The concept of love at first sight in Shakespeare's comedies.

    Even though the object of her love clearly rejects her, she persists, making Viola/Cesario very uncomfortable. This illustrates the selfishness of her so-called love. If Olivia truly loved Cesario, she would take 'his' feelings into consideration.

  1. Case Study: Tourism Orlando, FloridaUnited States of America

    Also this money brought from tourism, has developed the region and expanded its centre. In the centre they are zones of strictly business zones, many skyscrapers and marketing.

  2. Outline how Shakespeare uses the structure and conventions of pastoral in 'As You Like ...

    It causes fear through the wild animals but provides the right atmosphere for healing to occur. Shakespeare's 'As You Like' develops many of the features and concerns of the pastoral genres. This comedy examines the cruelties and corruption of court life and gleefully pokes holes in one of humankind's greatest artifices, the convention of romantic love.

  1. Review and history of Shakespeare's play 'As You Like It'.

    In contrast, Oliver can be seen to represent the court as he undermines Orlando, as the court undermines the forest- "Mines my gentility". Also, Oliver has a false sense of superiority ("Know you before whom, Sir?"), as the court is falsely thought to be superior to the forest.

  2. A love story -composed as a play.

    Then , I don't know how to do in the next step. Jiang: oh, you are my hero, how brave you are! (class bell is ringing, class is over. All students are walking out of the classroom. Li stand up and is on the way to door.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work