Belonging- as You Like It and Jude the Obscure

Topics: Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, As You Like It Pages: 4 (1312 words) Published: March 9, 2013
It is through the primal instinct of belonging in humanity that individuals will always strive to belong to someone or something at every stage in their life. Through these interconnections within the world a person will experience belonging as a multifaceted concept in that it will transpire in many various ways specific to each individual. Inclusion and exclusion can at lengths dictate the identity and notions of self for an individual both positively and negatively. Through the texts “As You like It” by William Shakespeare and “Jude the Obscure”, a Thomas Hardy novel, the abstract ideology towards belonging can be derived. Exploration of how the denaturing of the family structure can impinge attitudes towards belonging and shape the ramifications upon selfhood in these two texts demonstrates these key aspects at the crux of the understanding of belonging. Through these two texts the audience can also endeavour to understand the role of how decisions made by people impact their own experiences of acceptance or displacement in the relation to a sense of kinship with place. In some instances an individual will derive negative connotations from belonging and this will in turn have negative effects on notions of selfhood and relationships with others. In the case of Shakespeare’s “As You like It”, when a breakdown of the family structure is prevalent, the natural order is disrupted and, true to Shakespearian theatre, when the natural order is challenged, disrupted or broken; chaos will ensue. Orlando, as depicted in “As You like It”, illustrates how an individual can develop such notions of detriment towards themselves. In the opening lines of the play the audience is directly introduced to the character of Orlando mid-speech. In this introductory paragraph, the breakdown of the family structure is evident. Orlando is of noble blood but however is uneducated and treated, in his view, not dissimilar to a peasant or slave. He compares himself to farm animals...
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