Variety of Love Relationships in Shakespeare's As You Like It

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The Variety of Love Relationships in Shakespeare's As You Like It One of the main concerns of man throughout the centuries has probably been to define the concept of love and to understand the complexities that govern love relationships among people. William Shakespeare seems to have been fully aware of the need and interest in love, since his work transcends time and place. Love is the central concern in As You Like It. This comedy presents different attitudes towards love, which may be derived from the conversations among its characters and from the romantic attachments portrayed in it. By comparing the different love relations in the play, one may further appreciate important facts about the concept of love. Moreover,…show more content…
The idea of love's wealth may be perceived in Silvius's declaration of love for Phebe when he implies that Phebe's rejection of his love makes him a man in 'poverty'. He also refers to love as a 'plenteous crop' and as a 'harvest' that men reap, and he declares that his feelings for Phebe are such that he would be able to 'live upon' the slightest demonstration of affection from her, even if it were a simple smile. This association of love with commerce is further expressed by Sylvius later on in the play, when he explains what to love is and implies that love involves 'giving'; the giving of faith, service, duty, observance, and humbleness. Although his love for Phebe is unrequited, he seems to feel something of love's wealth as he hints at being aware of the fact that, in love matters, 'giving' is the key to 'gaining'. In fact, Silvius never abandons his struggle to win over Phebe's affection, not even at the realization that it is only he who is constantly 'investing' and 'losing'. Even more, Phebe, Rosalind, and Orlando seem to accept Silvius's view on love, as they all reply to his speech claiming they feel in the same manner towards their lovers. Perhaps the most straightforward example of the idea of love's wealth may be observed in Rosalind's words to Phebe when she urges her to accept Silvius's love: ' But, mistress, know yourself; down on your knees And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love; For I
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