Belonging in as You Like It and 'the Danger of a Single Story" by Chimamanda Adichie

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An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging. Belonging is a quintessentially sought after concept in human life; it is fuelled by the principal activity of individuals, interacting with existence around them including people and places. This interaction, depending on the depth and experiences, influences an individual’s sense of belonging to become enriched and sustained, or allows the person to develop a limited and superficial establishment of belonging. This is demonstrated in Shakespeare’s play, ‘as you like it’ and the speech, ‘the danger of a single story’ by Chimamanda Adichie. Belonging to a place is the formed relationship or understanding of that place, this is explored in Shakespeare’s play ‘as you like it’ where certain experiences and events that occur in the court setting have discouraged the comprehension of belonging; and in return allowed the pastoral setting of the forest of Arden to magnetize them due to their common desire to belong to a place. The beginning of the play portrays the court as a setting of tyrannous control where freedom and contradictory beliefs are disregarded and ignite corrupt nonsensical animosity. This portrayal of the court is contrasted against the promising and opportunistic forest. This contrast is highlighted when duke senior is established as compassionate and appreciative despite his discriminatory banishment, ‘are not these woods/ More free from peril than the envious court?,’ the duke shows his deep sense of belonging in the pastoral forest through his rhetorical question and sense of irony, as he implies that despite the existence of threatening animals and fatal weather conditions, he has still managed to belong within the wilderness as opposed to the court where his sense of belonging was inhibited by oppressive tyranny. The blithe atmosphere of the forest is abruptly juxtaposed by the next scene displaying Duke Frederick’s fury, ‘let not...
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