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Monday, October 22, 2012

As you like it

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As you like it


Rosalind - Rosalind dominates As You Like It. So fully realized is she in the complexity of her emotions, the subtlety of her thought, and the fullness of her character that no one else in the play matches up to her. Orlando is handsome, strong, and a bad but affectionate poet, yet still we feel that Rosalind settles for someone slightly less magnificent when she chooses him as her mate. Similarly, the observations of Touchstone and Jaques, who might shine more brightly in another play, seem rather dull whenever Rosalind takes the stage.


The endless appeal of watching Rosalind has much to do with her success as a knowledgeable and charming critic of herself and others. But unlike Jaques, who refuses to participate wholly in life but has much to say about the foolishness of those who surround him, Rosalind gives herself over fully to circumstance. She chastises Silvius for his irrational devotion to Phoebe, and she challenges Orlandos thoughtless equation of Rosalind with a Platonic ideal, but still she comes undone by her lovers inconsequential tardiness and faints at the sight of his blood. That Rosalind can play both sides of any field makes her identifiable to nearly everyone, and so, irresistible.


Rosalind is a particular favorite among feminist critics, who admire her ability to subvert the limitations that society imposes on her as a woman. With boldness and imagination, she disguises herself as a young man for the majority of the play in order to woo the man she loves and instruct him in how to be a more accomplished, attentive lover�a tutorship that would not be welcome from her as a woman. There is endless comic appeal in Rosalinds lampooning of the conventions of both male and female behavior, but an Elizabethan audience might have felt a certain amount of anxiety regarding her behavior. After all, the structure of a male-dominated society depends upon both men and women acting in their assigned roles. Thus, in the end, Rosalind dispenses with the charade of her own character. Her emergence as an actor in the Epilogue assures that theatergoers, like the Ardenne foresters, are about to leave a somewhat enchanted realm and return to the familiar world they left behind. But because they leave having learned the same lessons from Rosalind, they do so with the same potential to make that world a less punishing place


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No, faith; die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year though Hero had turned nun if it had not been for a hot midsummer night, for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was Hero of Sestos. But these are all lies. Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love. (IV.i.81�)


Here Rosalind-Explanation for Quotation


In Act IV, scene i, Rosalind rejects Orlandos claim that he would die if Rosalind should fail to return his love. Rosalinds insistence that “[m]en have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” is one of the most recognizable lines from the play, and perhaps the wisest (IV.i.1�). Here, Rosalind takes on one of the most dominant understandings of romantic love, an understanding that is sustained by mythology and praised in literature, and insists on its unreality. She holds to the light the stories of Troilus and Leander, both immortal lovers, in order to expose their falsity. Men are, according to Rosalind, much more likely to die by being hit with a club or drowning than in a fatal case of heartbreak. Rosalind does not mean to deny the existence of love. On the contrary, she delights in loving Orlando. Instead, her criticism comes from an unwillingness to let affection cloud or warp her sense of reality. By casting aside the conventions of the standard�and usually tragic�romance, Rosalind advocates a kind of love that belongs and can survive in the real world that she inhabits.


It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you; and Ill begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you. And I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women�as I perceive by your simpering none of you hates them� that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not. And I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths will for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. (Epilogue, 1�1). [Explanation]


Rosalind says -Explanation for Quotation 5


The Epilogue was a standard component of Elizabethan drama. In it, one actor remains onstage after the play has ended in order to ask the audience for the favor of its applause. As Rosalind herself notes, it is exceedingly odd that she has been chosen to deliver the Epilogue, as that task is usually assigned to a male character. By the time she addresses the audience directly, Rosalind has discarded her Ganymede disguise. She is, once again, a woman, and she has married a man. Although we may think that the potentially troubling play of gender has come to an end with the fall of the curtain, we must remember that women were forbidden to perform onstage in Shakespeares England. Thus, Rosalind would have been played by a man, which further obscures the boundaries of gender and sexuality. Rosalind emerges as a man who pretends to be a woman who pretends to be a man who pretends to be a woman in order to win the love of a man. When the actor solicits the approval of the men in the audience, he says, “If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me”�thus returning us to the dizzying intermingling of homosexual and heterosexual affections that govern life in the Forest of Ardenne (Epilogue, 14�16). The theater, like Ardenne itself, is an escape from reality where the wonderful, sometimes overwhelming complexities of human life can be witnessed, contemplated, enjoyed, and studied.


Rosalind - The daughter of Duke Senior. Rosalind, considered one of Shakespeares most delightful heroines, is independent minded, strong-willed, good-hearted and terribly clever. Rather than slink off into defeated exile, Rosalind resourcefully uses her trip to the Forest of Ardenne as an opportunity to take control of her own destiny. When she disguises herself as #HYPERLINK javascriptCharacterWindow(http//www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/asyoulikeit/stfm/symbol_E..html, 857f60f0b, 500);Ganymede, a handsome young man, and offers herself as a tutor in the ways of love to her beloved Orlando, Rosalinds talents and charms are on full display. Only Rosalind, for instance, is both aware of the foolishness of romantic love and delighted to be in love. She teaches those around her to think, feel, and love better than they have previously, and ensures that the courtiers returning from Ardenne are far gentler than those who fled to it.


Rosalind dominates As You Like It. So fully realized is she in the complexity of her emotions, the subtlety of her thought, and the fullness of her character that no one else in the play matches up to her. Orlando is handsome, strong, and a bad but affectionate poet, yet still we feel that Rosalind settles for someone slightly less magnificent when she chooses him as her mate. Similarly, the observations of Touchstone and Jaques, who might shine more brightly in another play, seem rather dull whenever Rosalind takes the stage.


The endless appeal of watching Rosalind has much to do with her success as a knowledgeable and charming critic of herself and others. But unlike Jaques, who refuses to participate wholly in life but has much to say about the foolishness of those who surround him, Rosalind gives herself over fully to circumstance. She chastises Silvius for his irrational devotion to Phoebe, and she challenges Orlandos thoughtless equation of Rosalind with a Platonic ideal, but still she comes undone by her lovers inconsequential tardiness and faints at the sight of his blood. That Rosalind can play both sides of any field makes her identifiable to nearly everyone, and so, irresistible.


Rosalind is a particular favorite among feminist critics, who admire her ability to subvert the limitations that society imposes on her as a woman. With boldness and imagination, she disguises herself as a young man for the majority of the play in order to woo the man she loves and instruct him in how to be a more accomplished, attentive lover�a tutorship that would not be welcome from her as a woman. There is endless comic appeal in Rosalinds lampooning of the conventions of both male and female behavior, but an Elizabethan audience might have felt a certain amount of anxiety regarding her behavior. After all, the structure of a male-dominated society depends upon both men and women acting in their assigned roles. Thus, in the end, Rosalind dispenses with the charade of her own character. Her emergence as an actor in the Epilogue assures that theatergoers, like the Ardenne foresters, are about to leave a somewhat enchanted realm and return to the familiar world they left behind. But because they leave having learned the same lessons from Rosalind, they do so with the same potential to make that world a less punishing place.


Celia


Celia - The daughter of Duke Frederick and Rosalinds dearest friend. Celias devotion to Rosalind is unmatched, as evidenced by her decision to follow her cousin into exile. To make the trip, Celia assumes the disguise of a simple shepherdess and calls herself Aliena. As elucidated by her extreme love of Rosalind and her immediate devotion to Oliver, whom she marries at the end of the play, Celia possesses a loving heart, but is prone to deep, almost excessive emotions


The Merchant of Venice


Portia (In-Depth Analysis)


Quick-witted, wealthy, and beautiful, Portia embodies the virtues that are typical of Shakespeares heroines, and it is no surprise that she emerges as the antidote to Shylocks malice. At the beginning of the play, however, we do not see Portias potential for initiative and resourcefulness, as she is a near prisoner, feeling herself absolutely bound to follow her fathers dying wishes. This opening appearance, however, proves to be a revealing introduction to Portia, who emerges as that rarest of combinations�a free spirit who abides rigidly by rules. Rather than ignore the stipulations of her fathers will, she watches a stream of suitors pass her by, happy to see these particular suitors go but sad that she has no choice in the matter. When Bassanio arrives, however, Portia proves herself to be highly resourceful, begging the man she loves to stay a while before picking a chest, and finding loopholes in the wills provision that we never thought possible. In her defeat of Shylock, too, Portia prevails by applying a more rigid standard than Shylock himself, agreeing that his contract very much entitles him to his pound of flesh, but adding that it does not allow for any loss of blood. Anybody can break the rules, but Portias effectiveness comes from her ability to make the law work for her.


Portia rejects the stuffiness that rigid adherence to the law might otherwise suggest. In her courtroom appearance, she vigorously applies the law, but still flouts convention by appearing disguised as a man. After depriving Bassanio of his ring, she stops the prank before it goes to far, but still takes it far enough to berate Bassanio and Graziano for their callousness, and even insinuates that she has been unfaithful.


Quote from Portia-


The quality of mercy is not strained.


It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven


Upon the place beneath. . . .


. . .


It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings;


It is an attribute to God himself,


And earthly power doth then show likest Gods


When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,


Though justice be thy plea, consider this


That in the course of justice none of us


Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,


And that same prayer doth teach us all to render


The deeds of mercy.


(IV.i.17�17


Explanation-


Explanation for Quotation 4


Even as she follows the standard procedure of asking Shylock for mercy, Portia reveals her skills by appealing to his methodical mind. Her argument draws on a careful process of reasoning rather than emotion. She states first that the gift of forgiving the bond would benefit Shylock, and second, that it would elevate Shylock to a godlike status. Lastly, Portia warns Shylock that his quest for justice without mercy may result in his own damnation. Although well-measured and well-reasoned, Portias speech nonetheless casts mercy as a polarizing issue between Judaism and Christianity. Her frequent references to the divine are appeals to a clearly Christian God, and mercy emerges as a marker of Christianity. Although it seems as if Portia is offering an appeal, in retrospect her speech becomes an ultimatum, a final chance for Shylock to save himself before Portia crushes his legal arguments.


The Tempest


Miranda - Just under fifteen years old, Miranda is a gentle and compassionate, but also relatively passive, heroine. From her very first lines she displays a meek and emotional nature. O, I have suffered / With those that I saw suffer! she says of the shipwreck (I.ii.5�6), and hearing Prosperos tale of their narrow escape from Milan, she says I, not remembring how I cried out then, / Will cry it oer again (I.ii.1�14). Miranda does not choose her own husband. Instead, while she sleeps, Prospero sends Ariel to fetch Ferdinand, and arranges things so that the two will come to love one another. After Prospero has given the lovers his blessing, he and Ferdinand talk with surprising frankness about her virginity and the pleasures of the marriage bed while she stands quietly by. Prospero tells Ferdinand to be sure not to break her virgin-knot before the wedding night (IV.i.15), and Ferdinand replies with no small anticipation that lust shall never take away the edge of that days celebration (IV.i.). In the plays final scene, Miranda is presented, with Ferdinand, almost as a prop or piece of the scenery as Prospero draws aside a curtain to reveal the pair playing chess.


But while Miranda is passive in many ways, she has at least two moments of surprising forthrightness and strength that complicate the readers impressions of her as a naïve young girl. The first such moment is in Act I, scene ii, in which she and Prospero converse with Caliban. Prospero alludes to the fact that Caliban once tried to rape Miranda. When Caliban rudely agrees that he intended to violate her, Miranda responds with impressive vehemence, clearly appalled at Calibans light attitude toward his attempted rape. She goes on to upbraid him for being ungrateful for her attempts to educate him When thou didst not, savage, / Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like / A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes / With words that made them known (58�61). These lines are so surprising coming from the mouth of Miranda that many editors have amended the text and given it to Prospero. This reattribution seems to give Miranda too little credit. In Act III, scene i comes the second surprising moment�Mirandas marriage proposal to Ferdinand I am your wife, if you will marry me; / If not, Ill die your maid (III.i.8�84). Her proposal comes shortly after Miranda has told herself to remember her fathers precepts (III.i.58) forbidding conversation with Ferdinand. As the reader can see in her speech to Caliban in Act I, scene ii, Miranda is willing�to the furthest extent she can�to speak up for herself in matters of her sexuality.


Miranda’s quote


[I weep] at mine unworthiness, that dare not offer


What I desire to give, and much less take


What I shall die to want. But this is trifling,


And all the more it seeks to hide itself


The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,


And prompt me, plain and holy innocence.


I am your wife, if you will marry me.


If not, Ill die your maid. To be your fellow


You may deny me, but Ill be your servant


Whether you will or no (III.i.77�86)


Explanation


Explanation for Quotation


Miranda delivers this speech to Ferdinand in Act III, scene i, declaring her undying love for him. Remarkably, she does not merely propose marriage, she practically insists upon it. This is one of two times in the play that Miranda seems to break out of the predictable character she has developed under the influence of her fathers magic. The first time is in Act I, scene ii, when she upbraids Caliban for his ingratitude to her after all the time she has spent teaching him to speak. In the speech quoted above, as in Act I, scene ii, Miranda seems to come to a point at which she can no longer hold inside what she thinks. It is not that her desires get the better of her; rather, she realizes the necessity of expressing her desires. The naïve girl who can barely hold still long enough to hear her fathers long story in Act I, scene ii, and who is charmed asleep and awake as though she were a puppet, is replaced by a stronger, more mature individual at this moment. This speech, in which Miranda declares her sexual independence, using a metaphor that suggests both an erection and pregnancy (the bigger bulk trying to hide itself), seems to transform Miranda all at once from a girl into a woman.At the same time, the last three lines somewhat undercut the power of this speech Miranda seems, to a certain extent, a slave to her desires. Her pledge to follow Ferdinand, no matter what the cost to herself or what he desires, is echoed in the most degrading way possible by Caliban as he abases himself before the liquor-bearing Stefano. Ultimately, we know that Ferdinand and Miranda are right for one another from the fact that Ferdinand does not abuse the enormous trust Miranda puts in him.





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