Juxtaposites In William Shakespeare's As You Like It

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William Shakespeare excelled in the art of juxtaposing opposites. His brilliancy in presenting opposites together can be seen in both his literary styles as well as thematic depictions. The same style is evident in his pastoral drama As You Like It. Woven in elements of comedy and romance, the play presents a clash between the life of “the painted pomp”, the “envious court”; and the simple ways of the forest. The play upholds the theme of love and presents it in its varied forms. The love made of “All adoration, duty, and observance, All humbleness” as in case of the other romantics is put to ridicule with the bawdy love of Touchstone-Audrey. The contrast between characters adds to the theme and humour of the play. There is a play between reality and appearance as seen through fickle relationships in the play and also in Rosalind’s disguise as Ganymede. The switch between verse and prose, use of irony and, interlinking plots stand evidence to Shakespeare’s genius of this art. The contrast between court life and country life is apparent from Duke Senior’s first dialogue; “Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court?”(2.1.2-4). The …show more content…
The apparent comfortable and luxurious life actually proves to be a place more dangerous than the forest when the Duke is banished by his own brother. The disguise plays of Rosalind, Touchstone and Celia are another example. Leaving behind the pomp of the court, they head to the forest to live a life of simplicity and find Duke Senior. Rosalind’s character as Ganymede adds special interest to the play. She asks Orlando to take her as Rosalind for the while and woo her. For Orlando, Ganymede is just a “pretty youth” trying to help him reach to Rosalind; however, the reality is quite different. Rosalind, who is very enthusiastic about love, is seen calling love “madness” as

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