The Documentation Of Shakespearean Comedy English Literature Essay

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As You Like It is a Shakespearean comedy because of its comical individuals and comical actions. Many debate on whether the play is a comedy or not. This play is a comedy because of the different individual actions in the piece. The individuals that make this play a comedy are Orlando and Jaques whose characters meet the guidelines of a comedy. There are many individual actions that take place in the play that also prove it's a comedy such as when Orlando goes into the Forest of Arden and there he threatens Duke Senior. Another comical action takes place when Celia leaves the court despite her father's opinion. The story line is one of comedy through its events.

The play begins with Orlando and Oliver, two brothers, arguing about how Oliver should give Orlando his own share of money because Oliver never bothers to take care of him even under the courtesy of nations. Oliver orders a wrestler to beat is brother in a match. However, Orlando wins and resulting in Duke Frederick's niece Rosalind to fall in love with Orlando. They both fall in love. Celia, Duke Frederick's daughter is really close to Rosalind whose father has been banished. Duke Frederick sees them taking to Orlando and does not like this because he does not like Orlando's deceased father Sir Rowland. He orders Rosalind to leave immediately and at this Celia, who loves her cousin. Rosalind and Celia take Touchstone with them and leave the court. They head to the Forest of Arden where Rosalind's father Duke Senior is. To keep their identities a secret, Rosalind becomes a man, Ganymede and Celia, a girl, Aliena.

When Rosalind and Celia leaves, Duke Frederick gets really mad and furious and he thinks they went with Orlando. Adam, a servant to Oliver is good-hearted and tells Orlando that he must leave because Duke Frederick is searching for him. They both go on a pilgrimage to the Forest of Arden. In the meantime Oliver is called to Duke Frederick and the Duke threatens that Oliver must find is brother within a year or the Duke will take away their land.

On the way to the Forest of Arden Orlando cannot stop thinking about Rosalind and he writes poems everywhere. Rosalind sees these poems and does not know who they are from, while Celia saw Orlando wrote them. Celia tells Rosalind and she meets him as the disguised Ganymede, a male. "He" tells Orlando that he does not look like a lover and nor is he pale or even has sunken eyes. Orlando wants to show Ganymede that he really does love Rosalind. Orlando does not know that Ganymede is Rosalind. Ganymede tells him that "he" can help him look like a lover and that "he" will give him lessons on how to love Rosalind. Orlando agrees and they meet each other for "classes" while Orlando is totally oblivious to whom Ganymede really is.

In order for the play to be a titled as a comedy it must reach a certain criteria and one of the elements is to have a comical individual. Orlando and Jaques are both very comical individuals and this can be noted to their actions and dialog. In the play Orlando meets Ganymede, not knowing it is Rosalind in disguise and "he" tells Orlando to act like "he" himself is Rosalind and to love "him." Ganymede does this to see how much Orlando really loves "him." Ganymede tells Orlando that he can make a person seem like a lover. Ganymede tells Orlando that, "…I set him every day to woo me; at which time…And thus I cured him, and/ this way I take upon me to wash your liver as/ clean as a sound sheep's heart," (III.iii. 416-430) and this way Ganymede gets Orlando to love "him." Orlando is deceived because he does not know that Ganymede is really Rosalind. This particular part of the play meets the criteria for a comedic play because in it, "The man should be represented as placed in deception and appearance which cajoles him and leads him astray without any fault on his part…" (Snider).Rosalind leads Orlando into phase of deception and it is not Orlando fault because is oblivious to the situation.

The second comical individual is Jaques because he meets the many guidelines of one. Jaques in a part of the play met Touchstone and was really impressed by him. Touchstone had become a role model for Jaques and he wanted to be a fool just like Touchstone. Jaques wishes that he was a fool because he wants a motley coat and wants to be able to deep-contemplate like Touchstone (II.vii. 32-35). This meets the requirement because it is necessary if it is a comedic play that one should have and "absurd" goal.(Snider) Jaques purpose thereafter is to be a fool, which is "absurd" but he still tries to achieve it.

Along with comical individuals the play must also have many comical actions. There are two specific situations that help support that the play's genre is a comedy. One situation is that in the play, when Orlando goes where Duke Senior resides, with a knife thinking that they will not give him food, he surprising does. When Orlando arrives to the Forest of Arden, his servant Adam becomes sick and so Orlando goes to look for food so he can give some to Adam. He then reaches where Duke Senior lives. This was comical because he "… thought that all things have been savage here, / and therefore put I on the countenance/ Of stern commandment"(II.vii.112-114). This situations relates to one of a comical action because Orlando is, "A person who undertakes to carry out his purpose must fall into a struggle with those who maintain an opposite purpose"(Snider).The struggle Orlando fell in is that he was embarrassed because he thought he would have to fight for food, while Duke Senior had the opposite intention and was willing to share the food. Duke Senior actually likes Orlando because Orlando's dad and the Duke had been friends.

Another comical action is when Celia and Rosalind leave the court and head towards the Forest of Arden. They leave because Duke Frederick thinks Rosalind is prettier than his own daughter and that because he saw Rosalind with Orlando, someone whom he hates. He banishes Rosalind and Celia, Duke Frederick's daughter, loves Rosalind and promises that she will go with her. She says that by heaven, she will go with Rosalind no matter how much she says not to (I.iii.110-111). They both leave and head to the Forest of Arden. This is a comical action because Celia leaves without her dad knowing. She goes to the forest against the will of her own father, and she follows what she believes in and this element makes the play a comedy (Snider).

Through the many comical aspects of this play like the comical action and individuals the Shakespearean play As You Like It's genre is definitely a comedy. The Orlando and Jaques were both comical individuals because of their actions. Orlando was deceived while Jaques knowingly wanted to be a fool. The comical actions that took place happened between Orlando and Duke Senior, and Celia and Duke Frederick. Orlando embarrassed himself by threatening Duke Senior when there was no need. Celia left the court and her house against the will of her father, Duke Frederick. Through these aspects proves that the play was absolutely a Shakespearean comedy because it meet the criteria.