As You Like It 2

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As You Like It – Act 1 Essay, Research Paper In an examination of Shakespeare?s dramatic methods, discuss how effectively you think Act 1 arouses the audience?s interest? In your answer consider:  Significant aspects of staging  Language including imagery and symbolism  Character interactions The opening scene, in which there is nothing light ? hearted or humorous, is completely expository and contrived but fulfilling its function of revealing the plot line to the audience. The fact that Shakespeare uses this kind of dramatic technique in the first scene twice shows that he wants to make the wickedness of Oliver perfectly clear. The action starts when Orlando, the younger brother decides to rebel against the oppression of his older brother, who is treating him like

a common pheasant. He tells Oliver: ?The spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.? Orlando?s complaints are completely justified, as Oliver is mean spirited and malicious in the treatment of Orlando, which the audience can clearly see from this opening scene. Oliver appears cold and distant when he speaks with Orlando: ?Now, sir, what make you here?? -And this contrasts greatly with the ?sisterly bond? between Rosalind and Celia. Orlando approaches Oliver with defiance and a confrontational attitude, arousing the audiences interest at this quarrel, and establishing his character: assertive, honest and bold, a character that every audience will like and take an

interest in. Oliver also shows that he is adept in the wordplay matches the play holds. Orlando and Oliver exchange much verbal sparring in the first scene, including when Orlando seizes his brother by the throat, Oliver exclaims, ?Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?? Orlando picks up the root meaning of these words, that he is a person of ignorable birth and replies, ?I am no villain: I am the younger son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains.? Shakespeare uses an artful device to portray information to the audience by using the two quarrelling brothers. In Oliver?s soliloquy we can almost anticipate that he is planning something against Orlando: ?I hope I shall see an end of him? The opening scene begins with

conflict and tension, which arouses interest in the audience. It also presents us with strong character interactions and strong feelings: jealousy, hatred and wickedness, all of which are appealing for anyone watching the play. The theme of injustice also entices the audience and the fact that Oliver is planning against his younger brother is particularly interesting. Scene 2 starts with introducing the two principal women, Celia and Rosalind, who is in a melancholy mood, due to the banishment of her father. This scene interests an audience as it has a great variety of tone, character and action. When Celia bids her merry, her reply: ?From henceforth I will coz, and devise sports. Let me see what think you of falling in love?? -Reveals a character who will deliberately use her

wit and intelligence to triumph over misfortune; and also reveals her sportive nature. We can already see from her character that she would be a fine match with Orlando, and the audience almost anticipates love between the two, further adding to the intrigue that has been developed from the first scene. The sportive nature of the women is intensified when Touchstone enters; who is funny himself, but also funny because of the jokes made at his expense. Rosalind gives us the impression that he is a simpleton: ?Natures natural the cutter off of Natures wit.? We can see that Touchstone will be the truth speaker and the ?wise fool? from early on: ?The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.? He is the test or measure of genuineness, and the audience will