Belonging: Ayli and Related Texts

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Belonging is determined extrinsically as it is gained and lost through the acceptance from others. Individuals can only find a sense of belonging if they have a group to which they can find support or kinship, such as a family. Governments and large groups of people (like communities) can offer a substantial level of belonging. However, as common as it is to belong to a government, country or community, throughout history individuals have also been rejected by them, and forced to be outcast. The concept that government and communities are amongst the greatest sources of belonging AND rejection is explored in the three texts I have chosen, which are, As you like it by Shakespeare, Refugee Blues by W.H. Auden, and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s “sorry speech”.

As you like it involves the concepts of: rejection from government creating a sense of not belonging that is extrinsically determined. To fit in or belong in the Forest or Court, one must change themselves. Being yourself if being excluded. As you like it screams political banishment. Characters have been removed unwillingly or threatened to leave their home, (for example Duke Senior or Rosalind). However with this sense of not belonging, other characters have voluntarily ‘rejected’ themselves from the ‘court’ to belong with the Duke or Rosalind, such as Celia or Adam.
One instance is exemplified when Frederick says to Rosalind:
Within these ten days if that thou be’st [be] found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it. (1. 3. 27-29)
This quote shows Rosalind being banished from the court, which illustrates the power that the Court and Frederick have over individuals. And here it shows the public humiliation and repetitiveness that Duke Senior will not miss as he is banished from the court
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it. (2. 1. 17-20)
Evidently, through

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