Shakespeare 's Play As You Like It Serves For Challenge Conventional Views Of Comedies

1921 Words Dec 10th, 2014 8 Pages
Shakespeare 's play As You Like It serves to challenge conventional views of comedies, plays that most audiences would expect to end in a complete and happy resolution. This play dispels such notions through the myriad negative viewpoints it presents about marriage. For instance, the play 's characters continually discuss and laugh about the inevitability of being cuckolded. Furthermore, the homoerotic overtones that pervade the play may indicate that not all of the characters may find themselves content in a conventional heterosexual marriage. I affirm that the continual jesting about marriage throughout As You Like It demonstrates that the play 's four marriages are bound to end in unhappiness. Traditionally, comedies and tragedies follow a general chain of events. Comedies typically begin in a state of disorder and resolve to one of order, whereas in tragedies, circumstances begin in relative order and quickly fall apart. Additionally, comedies often end in marriage, which are often meant to be interpreted as "destined" or "happily ever after." Typically, Shakespeare adheres to these conventions throughout his comedies, but As You Like It contrasts with some of these notions (McDonald 81-85). To be sure, this play exhibits these qualities superficially, ending in the "reconciliation" required to make it a comedy. That is, the four marriages are meant to represent a restored order at the end of the play. Nevertheless, this order is undermined by character dialogue and…

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