View Full Version : love in as you like it

05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
well love was shown in different ways in this play but then the most important of them all is the love of orlando for rosalind, well hes not much of a loving guy in our era but i think he and rosalind have shown the best story of love its in the play though

06-04-2005, 10:17 PM
Some Shakespeare experts have indicated that Rosalind is the great soul of this pair and that Orlando is lucky to have her and will take second fiddle to this truly great personage. Also note, Oliver's change of character is an interesting translation from bad to good, cold to humane, kind, loving and lovable.

12-14-2005, 11:07 AM
we had a lecture today, on the scene where Silvius is trying to woo Phebe, who tries to dismiss him and falls in love with young Ganeymede(Rosalind)...i think rosalind was being a bit too harsh on Phebe, after all its her buisness to decide who she falls in love with.
But i do dislike Phebe for making a fool out of Silvius and making him carry the letter to Rosalind. And he, sop madly in love with her, is ready with his life to do anyhting she wants him to!

The Unnamable
12-20-2005, 07:47 AM
Discuss The Treatment Of Love And Lovers In As You Like It.

Shakespeare's comedies end in marriage, as his tragedies end in death, and witnessing the "strange capers" in which his lovers find themselves entangled provides the audience with much enjoyment. The origins of the pattern of "courtship leading to marriage" as a basis for comedy go back to ancient patterns of fertility, regeneration and life continuing to the next generation. As You Like It is, however, only lightly touched by these deep concerns; the main features of its treatment of love are a good-humoured common sense combined with a tender appreciation of deep, true feeling.

Love of oneís fellow man, family and friends, although not as central as love between man and woman, is nonetheless dealt with. It is stressed that both Oliver and Duke Frederick are, as brothers, un-natural and un-kind (note the play on words) - brothers ought naturally to be kind and loving. The picture drawn for us of the relationship between Rosalind and Celia is a touching one; they are as Celia says:

"coupled and inseparable"

and Celia leaves her fatherís court to keep her friend company in the forest of Arden. Touchstone also demonstrates his affection by following them into exile, in the same way that Adam does for Orlando. The theme of loving loyalty and its reward is continued when Orlando meets Duke Senior in the forest; the Duke loved Orlando's father Sir Rowland and welcomes the son for his sake.

Three examples of "love" between man and woman are presented in As You Like It. First we have the stereotype of the poetic, romantic lover in Silvius. Rosalind described the typical "symptoms" in Act III scene 2, and Orlando too is guilty of this type of lover's behaviour in pinning poems onto trees. Silvius is in love with love itself, rather than with Phebe, as his feeling is not based on any true understanding of her character or indeed, of his own. She for her part scorns him, his offered love, and his poetic conceits:

"Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers".

At the other extreme we have the practical, earthy approach of Touchstone, who is continually aware, and continually reminding us, of the sexual side of man's nature - his scurrilous parody of Orlando's high flown verses is an excellent example or this. For Touchstone, marriage, and preferably a marriage he can get out of later, is merely society's way regulating man's sexual desires: "As the ox hath his bow, the horse his curbs.. .so man hath his desires". As the bow to the ox and the curbs to the horse, the sexual drive, according to Touchstone, is a restraint on his freedom. But love in all its aspects, including the sexual, is by contrast a liberating experience for the third couple, Rosalind and Orlando. In spite of Rosalind's light hearted attitude, there is no doubt about the depth of her feelings, as she says to Celia "O coz...that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love", and this love teaches her both self-knowledge and a greater tolerance for others. As Agnes Latham says (Introduction to the Arden edition) "Rosalind finds there is only one thing sillier than being in love-thinking it silly to be in love". Orlando develops from the youth, tongue-tied in the presence of his love, to the man who realises "I can live no longer by thinking" (ie. fantasy). The love of Rosalind and Orlando strikes the golden mean between the extremes of Silvius and Touchstone, combining the poetry of

"O poor Orlando! thou art overthrown",

with the sexual awareness of Rosalind that Orlando is "my child's father".

What are the aspects of love revealed in As You Like It? First perhaps, is that it is universal and inevitable - as Touchstone has it, "Wedlock would be nibbling". Although he sees it as the fate of every married man to be a cuckold yet "as horns are odious, they are necessary". As Jaques sees it in the final scene, "There is another flood toward and these couples are coining to the Ark". Even Phebe, so scornful of her lover, falls just as heavily in her turn. As Rosalind says, it is ďa lunacy so ordinary, the whippers are in love too" - so there is no cure. The effects of love on people are two-fold: love can make them run into "strange capers" and also have a beneficial effect on their characters. Touchstone points out that "all nature in love (is) mortal in folly": Rosalind is expert at gently mocking such folly, not least in herself. In fact, as her love for Orlando deepens, so Rosalind herself becomes a more sympathetic character, less bossy and more vulnerable. Phebe too becomes more sympathetic, in both senses of the word, when she feels the power of love herself.

The outstanding characteristic of the treatment of love in As You Like It is the application of common sense. Although the characters fall in love at first sight, the importance of self-awareness and self-knowledge is emphasised. Grovelling adoration, as seen in Silvius, is no basis for a lasting relationship: clear-sighted affection, combined with a little self-interest, may well be; as Rosalind tells Phebe,

"Down on your knees
And thank heaven fasting for a good man's love".

Love does change with time ("Men are April when they woo, December when they wed") and cannot in reality kill the lover ("Men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love"). However, to call these conceits "lies", as Phebe does, is not a satisfactory response; common sense, although essential, does not provide all the answers.

The treatment of the lovers can best be described as gentle mockery - not savage satire. Nothing permanently unpleasant happens to any of them; all are allowed a happy ending. They are allowed to display their folly, which is commented on by other characters, notably Rosalind and Touchstone, but they are never condemned in the play. The best example of the play's technique is perhaps Act II scene 4. Silvius, the romantic adolescent, is describing how it feels to be so desperately in love to Corin, the practical middle-aged realist. Corin points out that he has been in love himself; Silvius refuses to believe that anyone could have been so deeply in love as himself. Rosalind mocks both Silvius and herself with her high-flown

"Jove, Jove! This shepherd's passion
Is much upon my fashion"

and Touchstone deflates them all with the story of his courtship of Jane Smile and his assumption of a place in the ranks of "We that are lovers". Similarly in Act III, the lovers' meeting of Orlando and Rosalind is followed, and gently mocked, by that of Touchstone and Audrey. Thus, are we helped to retain perspective in regard to the follies of lovers, while never denying the value of love itself.