Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

CHARLES
There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news:
that is, the old duke is banished by his younger
brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords
have put themselves into voluntary exile with him,
whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke;
therefore he gives them good leave to wander. (1.1.2)

Dang.  Life at court sounds pretty treacherous, what with Duke Frederick usurping his brother's title and sending him into exile.  So, where exactly did the old Duke Senior flee?  Keep reading...   

Quote #2

OLIVER
Where will the old Duke live?
CHARLES
They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many
merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
of England.  (1.1.3)

Because Duke Senior lives in exile with his crew, he's associated with the legendary outlaw, Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, flipping the bird to those in power every chance he got.  The play's Forest of Arden, then, becomes associated with England's Sherwood Forest (Robin Hood's neighborhood) and opposition to corrupt authority figures.

Quote #3

They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world. (1.1.3)

When Charles compares Arden to the "golden world," he implies the Forest of Arden is like a paradise on earth for the exiled Duke Senior.  (In Greek mythology, the "golden age" is the first "stage of man," when the world enjoyed peace, happiness, prosperity, and perfect weather.)  The court, though it is more civilized, has its own failings when compared to the freedom of the forest.

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