Comedy in Love or Love in Comedy: “As You Like It” by W. Shakespeare The theme of love mostly dominates the whole play “As You Like It” by W. Shakespeare in spite of all the threatening aspects of the play. The play begins with conflict of the two brothers, jealousy of court and murder plan. These obviously don’t give the audience any scope to think about love. They are kept in anxious about the future of the play_ what is going to happen? But as soon as the play moves towards the Forest of Arden, the audience can see the ray of hope that something good is going to happen. Love at first sight is one of the characteristics of pastoral romance tradition. So, we can see that all characters were affected by this cardinal aspect of love. Nonetheless, each love affair is different form others and gives the dramatist an opportunity to analyse love with its various dimensions. Therefore, like the other romantic comedies, this play also ends with marriage and happiness. In fact the romantic love in the play begins with the encounter of Rosalind and Orlando in the wrestling match. The innocence and immaturity of Orlando touch the heart of Rosalind and she fells in love after the glorious victory of Orlando. It was her generosity that she gave him her necklace as a token of love, though there was a fear of her uncle. Rosalind shows her witticism in her love expression. In fact she is passionately in love with Orlando but never express it. Rather, she keep continues to test the boy, playing love game one after another. Orlando expresses his love in verse_ Form east to western Ind No jewel is like Rosalind. In spite of her manly disguise, Rosalind’s passion becomes unbound when Orlando is late at the appointed time. She becomes excessively delighted when she comes to know that none but Orlando is the composer of the verse on the tree which is addressed to Rosalind. When Orlando became “sick”, Ganimed that is, Rosalind came forward to “cure” his love sickness. All these are peculiar indeed. However, here follows the romantic verse by Rosalind for the lovers. No, no Orlando, men are April when they Woo, December when they wed! Maids are May when they are maids but sky changes when They are wives. As a romantic lover Orlando also plays his role as typical country lover. He claims that he will simply die if he is rejected by Rosalind. But this is also criticized by Rosalind. Another love affair between Touchstone and Audrey is quite different from the previous love affair. Audrey, the country shepherdess is addressed as an ugly, uneducated. She becomes agree to marry Touchstone as soon as he proposes. In fact, she does not love Touchstone but his courtly status. On the contrary, Touchstone is moving by his utmost sexual desire. He does not want waste his time by wooing someone but marry. He also prefers someone who did not waste her youth in wooing. This kind of love is earthly most. Here love is not that love which one is believed by Rosalind and Orlando. The love affair between Phebe and Silvious is mostly mocked by Shakespeare rather than celebrated. Phebe, the shepherdess of Forest of Arden is attracted by Silvious, another shepherd. But Phebe does not love Silvious because she is continuously wooing to Ganemade that is, Rosalind in disguise. The more Rosalind wants to push her towards Silvious, the more she becomes affectionate by Rosalind. However, at the end of the play Phebe accept Silvious, though it seems artificial to the audience. Another love relationship between Celia and Oliver is a hasty one. As soon as they saw each other, they fall in love. Oliver, the brother of Orlando who at previous want to kill his brother, now being in love wants to give all his property to Orlando and wants to be a shepherd in the Forest of Arden. The love between Adam and Orlando is an innocence one. Adam, the lifetime servant of Rawlan De Boys and his son Orlando is a pious and lovable man. He loves Orlando very much and wants to gives all his earned property to Orlando at the time of Orlando’s escaping to Forest of Arden. In fact, Adam saves the life of Orlando. The innocence sisterly love between Celia-Rosalind is remarkable. Their love surpasses the ordinary sisterly love of the world as one follows other like shadow. Their life in court, their escape to Forest of Arden shows the pure sisterly love for each other. We can see that love, the commonplace theme of authors is skillfully handled by Shakespeare in this play. Unlike, the modern love stories there are no social and family barriers in love. So, love and its effects on human personality is the main concern of the dramatist in the play, “As You Like It. It also shows how love for property and authority brings destruction where mere love for human heart brings about regeneration. Like all others his great episodes of love, Shakespeare tries to show that there is a feeling of pity in love. A sense of pity arouses love. So, also happens to it in the play, As you Like It. Rosalind falls in love with Orlando because she felt pity for his innocence and unprofessional manner as a wrestler.
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