As You Like It: Act 1, Scene 2 (Duke Fredericks palace)

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  • Created by: keisha_
  • Created on: 29-05-16 17:58

Notes

Celia tries to cheer Rosalind up who is sad because he father has been banished. Eventually Rosalind begins to cheer up and joins Celia in witty worldplay about love, fortune and nature. 

Rosalind's father, Duke Senior has been banished from court. Rosalind is left with her cousin Celia as he only companion. 

To cheer themselves up, Rosalind suggests to Celia that they think up amusements. 

Rosalind proposes they talk about falling in love. Celia tells Rosalind that love is only good to joke about and that she shouldn't love any man seriously or playfully in ways that might cause shame.

Celia then proposes her own topic, 'housewife fortune', who turns the wheel that decides whether every man and woman experiences wealth or power or poverty ect. Rosalind replies that the 'bountiful blind woiman' (she is often portrayed as blind, therefore she does not know she knows no prejudice in myth) is unfair to women. Celia agrees saying beautiful women are rarely virtuous and those who are virtuous are often ugly. Rosalind challenges Celia ssaying that Lady Fortune only effects things like wealth and power and that a persons looks, morals and intelliegience are given by nature. 

Celia comments that fools are sent by nature to sharpen witty peoples intelligience. Touchstone jokes about humour. He also hints at corruption in Duke Fredericks court.

This part of the scene includes lighthearted debate, these were the types of language games that an Elizabethan audience would have loved. The debate between nature (what we are born with) and fortune (what is given to us) are seen at odds. The theme of nature and fortunes relationship is centeral to the play. 

Touchstone is first properly introduced in this scene. He is the Duke's jester or fool. Noblemen often kept such a person whos job it was to sing/dance/act, basically do what they could to keep the household entertained. Fools were allowed to critisise the enemies of their masters and other high status people. However, if a fools joke offends the master he is whipped. Like all of Shakesperes clowns, he uses comedy to make light of serious points. His story…

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