'THE REFLECTIVE TERM' THE FOREST OF ARDEN OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAY AS YOU LIKE IT-

Topics: Love, William Shakespeare, Pastoral Pages: 13 (4875 words) Published: November 20, 2013
‘AS YOU LIKE IT’- WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
************************************************************* AS YOU LIKE IT IS A SHAKESPEARE'S ROMANTIC COMEDY, BLENDING WITH LOVE-HEROISM-SENTIMENT-ADVENTURE-AND PURE FUN. THE FOREST IS MERELY A GOLDEN WORLD, BUT ITS CONTENTMENT HAS DEALT OF THE BITTER LESSONS OF LIFE. (DR.S.SEN) PRONOUNCE THE WORD 'ARDEN'-PERHAPS A PUN BY PRONOUNCING IT A-DEN-- A FOLIAGE OF MATERIALISTIC WORLD. ******************************************************

“The Forest of Arden, according to the play reflects the different -state -of -mind of the various characters of the play itself”-Discuss. “There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Every story narrated or dramatized has an artistic structure which may be called its architectural design. The different elements of the story, technically known as the plot, are characters, incidents and the atmosphere born out of the union of these two. Characters unfolding themselves through incidents which often mould them,or incidents revealing characters through narration and dialogue, are so skillfully adapted to each other and vitally connected as ultimately to conceal the parts in the symmetrical beauty or realized harmony of the whole. Every interesting story arises out of a conflict, absence of which will make it dull and unexciting. There are, generally speaking, two main movements required to achieve this artistic result- a movement of Complication and a movement of Resolution. Between these two movements the plot will develop through many ups and downs which follow a well-regulated course. Structurally the natural divisions of a drama are fivefold, roughly corresponding to its five acts in the Elizabethan play. “Truths that wake,

To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy.”
While Romance admits the comic spirit within a corner of the field, the area is strictly limited. Romance and the comic spirit cannot well live together on terms of equality. In Shakespearean comedy, the comic spirit has to minister to the purposes of Romance and not the other way about. The truth of this observation can be seen in how the characters of Benedick and Beatrice, though seen in a comic setting in the beginning, emerge finally as Romantic characters, with both of them acting as the Champions of hero who is subjected to such ill merited suffering. On a lower plane it is true of Dogberry and Verges also. As Peter Quennell says: “Dogberry like Bottom was intended to raise a cultured laughter.” Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden is an imaginary setting in As you Like it and it is futile and unnecessary to try and find its actual counterpart in the world- whether in France or in England. What matters is that the Forest of Arden has a significant role in As You like It. “Pythagoras said, that this world, was like a stage

Where many play their parts: the lookers on, the stage
Philosophers are, saith he, whose part is to learn
The manneres of all nations.”
In such a place, in such an atmosphere, Love is the central light, the infallible intelligence, the chief source of life and happiness. And this love is identified primarily with a young woman. She is the Shakti of this universe; she is beauty, truth and rarity and inspires similar virtues (or values) in her lover. “For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,

Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn
Than women’s are.’’
In Shakespeare’s mature comedy-it is worth remembering that in comedy Ben Jonson put him above the classics- he presents ‘a harmonious society in which each person’s individuality is fully developed and yet is in perfect tune with all others’. While keeping to the old principle that comedy portrays characters, he profoundly modified it by deepening and strengthening each separate character, developing...
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