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"life is full of choises, but let god help you to choose the right one" - Tomhellewell

Setting in as You Like It

  • Date Submitted: 12/15/2012 12:24 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.7 
  • Words: 1063
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Setting
Arden is most likely a toponym for a forest close to Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. The Oxford Shakespeare edition rationalises this geographical discrepancy by assuming that 'Arden' is an anglicisation of the forested Ardennes region of France (where Lodge set his tale)[2]and alters the spelling to reflect this. Other editions keep Shakespeare's 'Arden' spelling, since it can be argued that the pastoral mode depicts a fantastical world in which geographical details are irrelevant. The Arden edition of Shakespeare makes the suggestion that the name 'Arden' comes from a combination of the classical region of Arcadia and the biblical garden of Eden, as there is a strong interplay of classical and Christian belief systems and philosophies within the play.[3]
Forest Vs Court
The forest is presented in a more favourable light in that the “goodies”, Duke Senior and his court, reside there. All of the good characters in the court are banished or exiled to the forest at the start of the play.
Duke Senior describes the court as “painted pomp…the envious court”. He goes on to say that in the forest the dangers are real but natural and are preferable to those in the court “The …churlish chiding of the winter’s wind… even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say This is no flattery” (Act 2, Scene 1).
He suggests the harsh conditions of the forest are preferable to the pomp and false flattery in the court: That at least in the forest, things are honest.
This could be compared to the Courtly love between Orlando and Rosalind and the bawdy, primitive but honest love between Touchstone and Audrey.
There are also reflections of Robin Hood and his merry men in the lives of Duke Senior and his supporters: “…there they live like the old Robin Hood of England” (Charles; Act 1, Scene 1).
This reinforces the positive depiction of the forest as opposed to the negative portrayal of the court. When the evil characters enter the forest they have a sudden...

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