as you like it; theme of melancholy

As You Like It: Theme of melancholy

The main character which brings the theme of melancholy is Jaques as he is often described by that emotion by other characters during the play.

In context, the melancholy man was a cliche for Elizabethan literature and would be portrayed as a man who sees the negative side of most things. He would point out human failings rather than celebrating human life and achievements.

It is an extreme verson of classical stoicism- this is philosophy in which people were taught to expect the worst, thus avoiding disappointments that emerge from the high hopes of life.

Jaques seven ages of man speech makes him look foolish as Orlando and Rosalind then engages in banter with him.

However, he is not reconciled at the end of the play as his melancholy is such a force that remains not to be reckoned with.

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