As You Like It Essay

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[In the following excerpt, Goddard maintains that Jaques cannot completely withdraw from the society he hates because he needs an audience for his tirades against humanity. In his philosophical debates with both Rosalind and Orlando, the critic declares, Jaques is upstaged by the lovers because their lives are not governed by self-pity as is his. Jaques's "Seven Ages of Man" speech (II vii. 139ff.), Goddard continues, does not deserve to be called a lesson in wisdom, for Shakespeare invalidates the character's reasoning at the end of his speech by presenting Adam-an old man who has just completed an arduous journey-in refutation of Jaques observation that old age leaves human beings "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing. " For further commentary on Jaques's character, see the excerpts by Alfred Harbage, Kenneth Muir, John A. Hart, Frederick Turner, John Palmer and Oscar James Campbell.]

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This section contains 1,145 words
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Shakespeare for Students
As You Like It from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.