As You Like It & the Ambitious Guest Belonging

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Every individual experiences the possibilities and challenges presented through the feeling of a connection or disconnection in one’s life. Their circumstances determine the way these senses of belonging such as love and familial affinity is embraced. The connections made through love, a natural phenomenon between two human beings, and familial affinity which is inherent in many families, are explored in the two texts As You Like It, a pastoral comedy play by William Shakespeare, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story The Ambitious Guest. Love is a profound connection between two individuals that presents the possibility of shielding them from the superficiality of society. As You Like It by Shakespeare explores this through the sisterly love between Celia and Rosalind, highlighted in the allusion to Roman mythology in ‘we still have slept together … learned, played, eat together... like Juno’s Swans,’ emphasising their intimate affiliation and inseparability. The complete disregard for the superficiality of money and wealth is accentuated in the dramatic irony of ‘I love Aliena… my father’s house and all the revenue… I estate upon you,’ which illuminates how love can transform even the antagonistic character of Oliver. The hyperbolic juxtaposition of two characters in ‘… from tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother. But heavenly Rosalind!’ demonstrates that love can prevail over the hostile family ties Orlando has with his brother earlier in the play. Love and loyalty of Adam to Orlando, embodied in the hyperbole of ‘to the last gasp with truth and loyalty… almost fourscore here lived I, but now live here no more,’ epitomises Adam’s devotion which allows a sincere relationship guarding both characters from the tyranny of Oliver. In As You Like It, the characters, Orlando and Rosalind embrace the challenges presented in their lives through love, loyalty and companionship which are a form of a communion allowing to maintain a genuine relationship to protect them from...
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