Various Forms of Love in the First Three Acts of ‘as You Like It’

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Explore Shakespeare’s presentation of the various forms of love in the first three acts of ‘As You Like It’

Various forms of love are depicted in Shakespeare’s play ‘As You Like It’ which clearly show the relationships between the key characters in the play as well as illustrating the different aspects of their characteristics. The first three acts introduce the ideas of love and how they differ in the context of different subjects in the play; whether it is a romantic love or a friendship Shakespeare’s use of language expresses the emotions of each character in a way that makes the idea of love central to the play. Chronologically, the family love expressed by Celia and Rosalind is the first form of love that Shakespeare introduces to the play; the character of Charles explains how “never two ladies loved as they do” when illustrating their relationship and the use of the word “never” exaggerates the depth and intensity of their love for one another. The girls are cousins in relation to each other and in Act 1 Scene 2; Celia’s sympathy for Rosalind concerning the banishment of her father portrays the care and concern that comes from the love shared between them. The scene opens with pleading for Rosalind to cheer up: “I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry” the familiar and affectionate language used to address Rosalind such as “sweet my coz” demonstrates how Celia desires for happiness to come to her cousin suggesting that Celia is a compassionate character. It seems that the value of the cousins’ relationship is of great importance to Celia, she is bound to Rosalind and tremendously loyal for she abandons her father’s Court to flee with Rosalind to the Forest of Arden. This would be an unforgivable act during the Elizabethan era and so the audience would notice this as a dangerous and dramatic situation thus adding excitement to the play. In contrast to this presentation of love which is open and expressive, the relationship between Duke Frederick...
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