Pastoral Comedy Essay

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The genre of pastoral comedy has been used since the 13th century by many poets and writers to establish an ideal setting and plot that the people of the time imagined so. It became much more during the 16th century when As You Like It written by William Shakespeare was published. This play centers around the protagonist Orlando, who rebels against his brother Oliver in order to receive the education he deserves. As events turn against him, he is forced to leave the court and go into hiding, meeting new people such as his lover Rosalind, her ally Celia, and Duke Senior. Since the play was written in the late 16th century, much of the work consists of the traits of a pastoral comedy . As You Like It is classified as a pastoral comedy…show more content…
When he tried to rebel against Oliver, they both argued and began fighting, resulting in him storming off. Oliver commanded the wrestler, Charles, to go against Orlando in a wrestling match for disrespecting him in such way. Oliver was a cruel brother to Orlando for misusing his inheritance from his father as well as harming someone else regardless of him being family. Another character who shows these types of traits is Duke Frederick who banishes Rosalind from the Court and could never return. He believes that Rosalind would create much trouble and would turn out just like her banished father who is also his brother. The Duke also sends Oliver to hunt down his brother dead or alive without any sort of rebellion or love for Orlando safety stating that “[He] never loved [his] brother in [his] life.” (Shakespeare III.i). The Duke and Oliver make the Court a corrupted place because of their tyrannical ways of acting towards others for their own ambitions. On the other hand, the Forest of Arden is a pastoral setting since it contains ideal elements. Helen Gardner concludes in her essay on As You Like It in “Shakespeare the Comedies” that the irony of the play comments that “You have said: but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge” (Gardner 51). To sum it up, Gardner is explaining to the audience that the forest is the most important aspect of the play since it is the main source of change in the characters’ ways. The judging by the forest will conclude to
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