William Shakespeare 's Play As You Like It

1329 WordsMar 2, 20176 Pages
Many of Shakespeare’s plays are complex and subtly nuanced. Through subtleties, Shakespeare encourages readers to care for and relate to the characters in the story. The plays are not merely for entertainment purposes, but are used as a way to connect to the audience. The plays range from the enjoyment of surface plots to sophisticated engagements with the text and then to the underlying messages. This is well illustrated in the play, As You Like It, as it presents obstacles within family, relationships, jealousy, power and patriarchy, which lead to the marginalization of several characters. The play suggests that the female characters are the “outsiders,” because they do not serve as a valuable member in a male dominated society. Women…show more content…
The play reinforces the traditional gender norms by giving men the power to control and determine the outcome of a woman’s life. Within a single sentence, Duke Frederick alters Rosalind’s status from a family member to a stranger. Even in this situation, all Rosalind says is “I do beseech your Grace,/ Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me” (1.3.39-40). Instead of arguing or fighting for her right to stay, she respectfully approaches Duke Frederick and asks him for his reason in banishing her. Though she is not a weak character, in this moment she represents the traditional women who deals with this injustice by pleading for her innocence, rather than fighting for her right to stay in the court. Furthermore, Duke Frederick says to Rosalind, “let it suffice thee that I trust thee not” (1.3.50) and “thou art thy father’s daughter. There’s enough” (1.3.53). His justification for making her leave the court is unclear. He does not have an actual reason for banishing her from the court other than for self-satisfaction. There is the possibility that he is jealous from all the attention Rosalind receives in comparison to his “actual” daughter, who goes unnoticed. The power difference between Duke Frederick and Rosalind is evident when he
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