The most direct contrast offered in As You Like it of pastoral life versus courtly life is in Act II of the play. This is the part where Duke Senior's thoughts about life in Arden Forest. The scene clues us in to life as it is being led at court where the Duke is unbearably unhappy. Scene iv especially gives a view of those living in the forest and the ease with which they are given help. When, in scene vii, Orlando comes face to face with life in Arden Forest when he breaks into the Duke's camp.
In short, is is very much like the beucolic view that people in modern society have of Native Americans; that they commune with nature and somehow have a better sense of self than the average person. The one thing that does come of this comparison is that the theme seems to adhere to the naturalistic view that nature tells the truth and no one can be false in its presence. Duke sr. says that there are 'sermons in stone' and that Arden might be a simple toad, but it has a 'precious jewel'.
Life in the Arden is safer and freer that courly life. He says:
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
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? (II.i)