The Pastoral Romance Tradition

A mindmap on the Pastoral Romance Tradition:

  • Definition
  • Shakespeare's inspiration
  • Shakespeare's interpretation
  • Typical features
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  • The Pastoral Romance Tradition
    • Portrayed rural life as an ideal world of innocence and freedom
      • A world where Kings, Queens and courtiers could escape
    • Pastoral
      • A literature and drama that idealised nature and rural life
      • The country = superior to the city
        • Court = unnatural + unhappy
        • Country = natural + joyful
      • The country taught moral lessons, eg Duke F and Oliver
      • Binary opposition between civilisation and rudeness
      • History stretches back over 2,000 years
        • Theocritus created a 'golden world' of peaceful and harmonious country life
          • Populated by beautiful and wise shepherds and shepherdesses
            • They were poets, philosophers and lovers
      • Folk tales, eg Robin Hood = influence
      • Contrasts
        • Touchstone and Corin debate
        • Duke Senior Speech
        • Amien's song
    • Romance
      • Stories of love and chivalry = v.popular in Middle Ages
      • 2 dif. views of love = courtly + romantic
        • Courtly
          • Sexless and idealised
          • Put women on a pedestal. Women = worshipped as unattainable goddesses
        • Romantic
          • Sexless and Idealised, but also 'love at first sight'
          • Natural result = marriage
    • Typical features
      • Journeys, Adventures and Learning
        • A young knight leaves court to travel and seek fortune. He has many adventures in remote places and undergoes trials from which he learns
          • Orlando in the forest learns from his 'trials of love' by Rosalind
      • Love and Faithfulness
        • He loves a beautiful woman. She occupies all his thoughts. Fidelity is highly valued
          • Orlando falls instantly in love with Rosalind, and she with him
      • Coincidence
        • All kinds of improbabilities and coincidences occur.
          • Anne Barton: 'The conclusion of AYLI veers towards the implausible in asking us to accept four marriages, two lightning conversions, and the inexplicable appearance of the god Hymen'
      • Fathers
        • A beautiful woman has a harsh father
          • Celia and Duke Frederick
      • Disguise
        • Mistaken identity and disguise features in many stories
          • Rosalind disguises herself as a boy, Celia as a shepherdess. Neither is recognised
      • Happy endings
        • The Knight marries his beloved, and the stories end with forgiveness, reconciliations, and virtue triumphant
          • The play ends with multiple marriages, the reconciliation of Orlando and Oliver, the restoration of Duke Senior and the conversion from evil of Duke Frederick
      • Shepherds
    • Shakespeare's interpretation
      • The Forest of Arden is not an idealised Utopia
        • Bad weather - 'icy fang' of the bitter wind
        • Corin's mean boss
        • Phebe scorns Silvius
        • The deer are hunted by exiled Lords
        • Threat of Lions and Snakes
        • Jaques' cynicism
        • Audrey = not beatiful or wise
        • Rosalind and Orlando discover that love doesn't run smooth
        • At the end of the play, the exiles prepare to return to court
          • The don't seem to be unhappy about leaving the country behind
            • Only Jaques, the cynic, stays behind, and his purpose is not the enjoyment of the innocent pleasures of rural life
  • Lovesick and Scornful Shepherdesses
    • Shepherds
    • Silvius and Phebe
  • A world where Kings, Queens and courtiers could escape

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