Sibling Rivalry in as You Like It

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Sibling Rivalry in as You Like It

By | Jan. 2013
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Sibling Rivalry:
Sibling rivalry is a type of competition or animosity among children, blood-related or not. The sibling bond is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as parental treatment, birth order, personality, and people and experiences outside the family. According to a child psychologist sibling rivalry is particularly intense when children are very close in age and of the same gender, or where one child is intellectually gifted. In history and literature, there have been great sibling rivalries. Sibling rivalry is a common theme in the works of Shakespeare. A number of Shakespeare's plays display incidences of sibling rivalry including the way King Lear provokes rivalry among his three daughters. In The Taming of the Shrew, Sisters Kate and Bianca are shown fighting bitterly. In Richard III, the title character is at least partially motivated by rivalry with his brother, King Edward. In As You Like It, there is obvious sibling rivalry and antagonism between Orlando and Oliver, and between Duke Frederick and Duke Senior.  In Act I, a prevalent theme is sibling rivalry. It can be shown through the conflict between Oliver and Orlando as well as Duke Frederick and Duke Senior. Shakespeare suggests that jealousy contributes strongly to sibling rivalry through the parallels that can be drawn through Duke Frederick and Oliver. Both are jealous of their brother’s popularity and become paranoid. Oliver babbles to himself about Orlando’s motives for power and ability to attain it even though Orlando only wants an education. Frederick does something similar although instead of commenting about Duke Senior directly he comments about Rosalind, his brother’s daughter, to his own daughter Celia. Like Oliver, Duke Frederick talks about Rosalind’s likability as a threat to Celia, showing his own insecurity. When Celia rejects her father’s ideals and goes with Rosalind to Arden she shows that sibling rivalry is not passed down. The ideals of our parents are...

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