As You Like It Themes

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As You Like It: Theme of court and country

The theme of court and country is essential to any pastoral text and is clearly shown throughout the play through the use of structural shifts between the court and the forest.

Court is dominated by negative emotions and the country is full of lovers.

Touchstone highlights the contrast between the court and the country as his attacks on Corin and William show that he assums he is superior to them because he is from the court.

'When I was at home I was in a better place; but travellers must be content'

Duke Senior seems to embrace country life; 'all my co-mates and brothers in exile' he praises the rural life and compares it with the 'painted pomp' of the court.

For Rosalind, entry into the court 'is to liberty and not to banishment' as she presents a chance to live a new, liberated life and is able to take charge once she is in the forest.

The pastoral idea of retreat and return.

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