The world of Shakespearean comedies is undoubtedly romantic, poetic and idealized. As You Like It is no exception in this respect. Romantic in all aspects, especially form and spirit, the play presents before you a world of love, of deceit, of vulgarity, of humor, of music and what not! But it is the love theme that excels all that. To be more precise, it seems wiser to agree with Charlton that Shakespeare was successfully developing his own kind of romance. (Nicoll, Shakespeare Survey, Vol. 8, pg 3) It is rightly observed by Sheffield Theatres Education that, William Shakespeare's play As You Like It clearly falls into the Pastoral Romance genre; but Shakespeare does not merely use the genre, he develops it...Shakespeare also used the Pastoral genre in As You Like It to cast a critical eye on social practices that produce injustice and unhappiness, and to make fun of anti-social, foolish and self-destructive behaviour' , most obviously through the theme of love, culminating in a rejection of the notion of the traditional Petrarchan lovers. (www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk)When we say that As You Like It is romantic in form, it should rush to our mind that the classical rules of dramatic composition, like the observance of the unities, are not at all regarded in its composition.
[...] The main action of the first act is no more than a wrestling match, and the action throughout is often interrupted by a song. At the end, Hymen himself arrives to bless the wedding festivities.” (www.bookrags.com/wiki/As_You_Like_It) Judicious reflections on life go hand in hand with the romance of love and the romance of pastoralism, and save the world of comedy from being unsubstantial. Further, the escape from reality is only temporary; the characters troop back to the city to play their respective roles, and occupy their respective places. Shakespeare, in his As You Like It, has tailored the conventions of romance to [...]
[...] In As You Like It, Shakespeare has undoubtedly presented a mingled yarn of joys and sorrows. There is always a confrontation of romance and reality here. The Forest of Arden is never shown forth as a conventional pastoral Arcadia. It also has its piercing wintertime and harsh weather, its own kind of usurpation and the ingratitude of friends which are very much present in the world around us, all days. There one has to face hardships of all sorts, and some one character or the other, usually the fool, constantly reminds us of those hardships. [...]
[...] Thus we have the large-scale explication of love theme in As You Like It; that too, in the Forest of Arden, a world that can only exist in our dreams. The Shakespearean world is the ‘country of the mind'. It can never ever be met with neither in this whole universe nor on the world-map. It is a place where we come across an idealized picture of life, life as it should be lived, or life as envisaged by the poet. [...]
[...] As You Like It burlesques most of the set norms of love usually dealt with in poetry and literature. For example, the widely accepted notion that love is a disease that invites suffering and torment to the lover, the supposition that the male lover is the slave or servant of his mistress and the female lover should never cross the limits set by the society finds expression here and at the same time it is ridiculed by the playwright in the words of different characters of the play. [...]
[...] Unlike the usual tradition of jesters given to punning, word- play and word-jugglery of all sorts, Touchstone hates them and considers it as mere foolishness. According to the observation of Duke Senior, he “uses his folly like a stalking horse, and under presentation of that he shoots his wit.”(V 102-5) Though Shakespeare builds a world of romance in As You Like It, he also criticizes the same. Here he takes us to the romantic Forest of Arden where the Duke Senior and his followers fleet their time carelessly. [...]
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