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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

As You Like It Contrasting Regions Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to The Norton Shakespeare, second edition, published in 2008.

Quote #1

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. (1.1.97-103)

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

Where will the old Duke live?
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.  (1.1.112-115)

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. (1.1.115-118)

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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