As You Like It- Love's Portrayal Through Different Characters

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In the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, love portrays and presents itself differently and in many forms to each character. The diverse attitudes towards love in this play are due to the dissimilar lifestyles, the court and nature, and backgrounds of each character. The love exhibited in As You Like It begins with the unconditional love between sisters, Rosalind and Celia, the cynical love of Touchstone and Audrey, the over exaggerated and incomprehensible love of Silvius and Phoebe, and the seemingly true love between Rosalind and Orlando. Each kind of love is viewed as comedic because of its rapid development, in Touchstone and Audrey the prompt decision of marriage, a form of love at first sight, Rosalind’s charm on Orlando, and the over embellished and for some understated feelings each character expresses. Throughout the play, the different kinds of love and behaviors towards love develop and unveil themselves to each character.

The first love seen in As You Like It is the love of two cousins who grow to be like sisters. Rosalind and Celia show the most important and withstanding love. When Rosalind’s uncle bans her from court, Celia takes this opportunity to show that nothing can break apart their love. “If she be a traitor,/ Why, so am I” (1.3.75-76). Celia sternly tells her father that wherever he sends Rosalind, so to will she follow. The relationship of Celia and Rosalind has a parallel, and, in a way a doppelganger: the relationship between two brothers, Oliver and Orlando. At first their relationship is awful, “I never loved my brother in my life” (3.1.14), and Oliver is willing to kill his brother rather than make peace. Their relationship is destructive and is clearly the opposite of what is shown in Rosalind and Celia. The end of the play changes Oliver and Orlando’s attitudes towards each other by their overwhelming feelings of true love and Oliver’s internal renovation. “ ‘Twas I, but ‘tis not I. I do not shame/ To tell you what I...
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