Analysis Of William E. Howard 's ' The Forest Of Arden ' Essay examples

1649 Words Jul 30th, 2015 7 Pages
Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It follows members of an exiled court as they flee to safety in the Forest of Arden. The characters experience an open and free space, very unlike the confines and corruption that accompanies court life. Jean E. Howard describes the importance of their refuge in the forest in “As You Like It”: “The play thus participates in the rich tradition of Renaissance pastoral literature in which the rustic world of forest and field offer an alternative to and a sanctuary from the urban or courtly milieu to which it is contrasted” (377). Many use this new found freedom as an opportunity to explore and discover themselves in ways they were previously unable. Characters take on different identities, genders, and erotic possibilities. The forest has great significance in the play as it allows characters of all class ranks to intermingle, enabling the plot and characters to grow. All the characters who sought shelter in the forest eventually return back to court life at the end of the play, but they have transformed and changed from who they initially were. The first character to take shelter in the Forest of Arden is Duke Senior, the father of Rosalind. Duke Frederick, his brother, has usurped him from his crown and he is now banished. He decides to take shelter in the Forest of Arden with some of his followers. Charles reveals how Duke Senior is living in act 1 scene 1: “They say that many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time…

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