As You Like It Essay

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[In the excerpt below, Duthie discusses As You Like It in light of the opposition of order and disorder generally found in Shakespeare's comedies. Although life is comfortable at Duke Frederick's court and in Oliver's house, the critic declares, moral order has been overthrown by the corrupting influence of materialism and envy. By contrast, the country setting of Arden is depicted as physically hard, but it offers an atmosphere of moral purity. Duthie insists, however, that this is not just a simple contrast between good and evil life. Jaques's and Touchstone's critical observations throughout the play establish that Arden is not the ideal alternative to court life. According to Duthie, Shakespeare never endorses escapism to Arden as an end; rather, it is a means by which those who come to the forest can discover the self-knowledge necessary to return to and purify the disordered outside world.]

[We] find...

(read more from the Critical Essay #5 section)

This section contains 4,222 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the As You Like It Study Guide
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As You Like It from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.