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Review of William Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'

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William Shakespeare has been an English author who lived on 26 April 1564 until 23 April 1616 and was first declared in 1623 as a pastoral comedy of ‘As You Like It’. The play relates to Rosalind and Celia’s journey through the Forest of Arden and to the interesting characters they met. ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare is a play that was believed to have been published in 1599. The play holds some of Shakespeare’s most popular and interesting lines, mostly spoken by a character Jacque in the forest of Arden. Although, ‘As You Like It’ has had many critiques, according to some critics seeing it not up to the literary piece of Shakespeare, while others claim that this is one of his greatest works.

The play rises in France but suddenly moving to the forest of Arden as the action changes. The throne was taken by Duke Frederick, the younger brother of Duke Senior and the father of Rosalind. Frederick only lets Rosalind stay in the palace because of her bonding with his daughter, Celia. When Frederick grows upset with Rosalind he bans her from the court, Celia chooses to go with Rosalind. In the meantime, Orlando and his servant Adam see that the men of the Duke are leaving poems of love for Rosalind in the trees. Rosalind loves Orlando and sees him as her male Ganymede alter-ego. During his love affairs, Ganymede seeks to provide Orlando some comfort, even going so far as to suggest that he will serve for Rosalind and that they can continue their relationship together. Phoebe’s guide falls in love with Ganymede, despite repeated efforts by Ganymede to prove that he is not interested. While Ganymede assures Phoebe to get married, Celia gets married to Oliver, Touchstone gets married to Audrey and Orlando gets married to Rosalind. She tells Phoebe that if they don’t get married for some reason, Phoebe’s going to get married to Silvius. Duke Frederick’s daughter, Celia cares overwhelmingly for her cousin, Rosalind, and shows her selfless kindness consistently. In demanding that her father let Rosalind stay with her in court, she vows that when Duke Frederick dies, Rosalind will be able to take the throne of her father. After Rosalind is expelled, Celia risks her safety and family reputation by following Rosalind into the Arden Forest. In her meeting with Oliver, her potential for romantic love is also shown. The daughter of Duke Senior, Rosalind is the voice of reason and wisdom, and heroine of the play. Once Duke Frederick finally ordered her to leave the court as he did to her father, she and Celia left in search of Duke Senior, Rosalin outfitted as Ganymede. Rosalind is clever and intelligent, and at the end of the play, she acts as a reasonable judge of love, linking the romantic bonds of the characters and making them indifferent marriages, including the connection of herself and Orlando. But she’s not only after being passionate and a little foolish about her love for Orlando. As the play suggests Rosalind and Celia are sisters. Celia explains that her uncle is Rosalind’s father and that her father is the uncle of Rosalind. Celia enjoys her friendship with Rosalind to such a stage that it means very much to her, and that is why she goes to the forest of Arden with her cousin Rosalind. Girls seem to be twin sisters.

[…]if she be a traitor,

Why, so am I; we still have slept together,

Rose at an instant, learn’d, play’d , eat together,

And, whereso’er we went, like Juno’s swans Still,

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we went coupled and inseparable. (1.3.75-79)

Initially, Celia and Rosalind are companions in crime, jesting together, running off together, changing their personalities together Celia transfers to Aliena and Rosalind transfers to Ganymede, while they travel to the forest of Arden and also having fun together. Celia even says their trip into the forest isn’t banishment, but an opportunity to live freely, as they get to be the characters they want to be (together). They are very close to each other and they say how much they love each other, which leads some people to ask if something is going on between them. This quotation shows their bonding.

[…]Rosalind lacks then the love

Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.

Shall we be sundered? Shall we part, sweet girl? (1.3.102-104)

When Orlando enters the scene, the relation between Celia and Rosalind changes. Celia’s cruel lovesickness and pranks were committed to Rosalind / Ganymede. As the play proceeds, Celia’s reactions to Rosalind’s antiquities are more and more bound. Through Celia, we are willing, as Celia tries suspiciously, to explore Rosalind’s shifting attitude toward love. At the beginning of the play, Rosalind and Celia both see love as a joke, but when the girls go into the woods and find Orlando there, they change their opinion about love. It seems that while Rosalind believes love is dumb, she is not stupid herself. Celia, who isn’t in love, will see her friend take all the silly things they have been taunting about, now taking it seriously. It’s not surprising that throughout the play Celia grows moodier, also disappointed with the charm of her sister. The clear division between the cousins becomes obvious when Celia tells Rosalind that Orlando doesn’t love her. Celia dislikes Rosalind’s attention to Orlando, but it seems that she is strangely jealous that her friend takes the silliness of love seriously. Celia’s hatred towards love comes into focus as Celia falls in love with a man herself. Celia’s bond with Oliver isn’t very deep, but it’s notable in the play as it sets off the uniqueness of the love approach of Rosalind. For all this time Celia’s making fun of love, we never hear from her again once she finds a man. She falls out of the match, totally in love with her new beloved. Celia then becomes a kind of spy; in another person, she loses herself and is thus lost to the world. Rosalind might be awful about being in love, but in the end, she has done a great work of living with her own identity. Rosalind can be in love but outwardly being a fool for love because she knows love is silly. The death of Celia shows just what Rosalind did not do, portraying Rosalind as an extraordinary woman even more. Duke Frederick, unhappily, ends up being right— Rosalind one-ups Celia, and we all believe that she’s better than his daughter.

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Review of William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/review-of-william-shakespeares-as-you-like-it/
“Review of William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/review-of-william-shakespeares-as-you-like-it/
Review of William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/review-of-william-shakespeares-as-you-like-it/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Review of William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/review-of-william-shakespeares-as-you-like-it/
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