Discuss Shakespeare’s presentation of Jaques as the “odd man out” in As You Like It.

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Discuss Shakespeare’s presentation of Jaques as the
“odd man out” in As You Like It.
Introduction:
It can be argued that Shakespeare continuously presents Jaques as the odd man out throughout the romantic comedy As you like it through a range of methods.
Jaques’ melancholy character would have been a solid portrayal of man courtiers at the time both in society and in literature as this misanthropic attitude was perceived as fashionable.
As You Like It is based on Thomas Lodge’s “Rosalynd” – Jaques is not a character in this, he is Shakespeare’s own creation, prominent character who provides balance, through his cynicism, from the pastoral and romantic idyll.
As You Like It is not wholly a pastoral piece however, as Shakespeare diverges slightly from the conventional pastoral tradition throughout As You Like It.
To be continued…
Paragraph One – Act 2, Scene 1:
Act 2, Scene 1 is the first time we are introduced to Jaques, despite him not being present, his absence from stage immediately depicts him as an odd man out as he is not with the people he has chosen to be exiled with, he is apart from the group he is supposedly part of. Although Jaques is not in this scene, this scene is vital in beginning to mould our impressions of Jaques, through reportage one of the Lords gives Jaques the epithet “the melancholy Jaques” this is the first time he is mentioned and it singles him out as rather strange, as a “melancholy” man he certainly stands out in such a light hearted play. Being introduced as “melancholy” would have led the Elizabethans to believe that Jaques had an excess black bile leading to his unbalanced behaviour; this imbalance of the four humours would have singled him out as an odd man out. Jaques bemoans how the exiled Duke and his courtiers are usurping the deer of the forest by hunting them: “You do more usurp than doth your brother that hath banished you.” This reaction is rather expansive and it contrasts with Duke Seniors more moderate

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