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Belonging in As You Like It and Woman Before the Rising Sun Essay

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Belonging is the fundamental nature of humans longing to be confident in social situations and deals with a balance of rejection and acceptance. A true sense of belonging can only be found once you’re on the outside of society. Williams Shakespeare's Play, ‘As You Like It’ (early 1600s) through the character of Rosalind, demonstrates rejection and acceptance as well as individuality similarly to the way Casper David Friedrich has represented this concept of belonging in his painting, ‘Woman before the Rising Sun’ (1818-20).

Rejection is an essential component in the ebb and flow of belonging. After Rosalind’s Father is banished from the court she too is not long after banished by her Uncle Duke Frederick, "...if that thou beest found so near... as twenty miles, thou diest for it" threatening to kill his own niece is a strong and offensive statement alluding to the fact that Rosalind doesn’t belong in the court as he is the ruler of the court and he is exiling her. Additionally stating "thou art thy father’s daughter" shows how Shakespeare is suggesting that Rosalind doesn’t belong in the court because she is her "father’s daughter" and he doesn’t belong to the court himself. Additionally Rosalind and Cousin Celia left the court in stealth on the night of Rosalind’s exile. This proves that the pair doesn’t belong in the court as they left when no one knew of their departure. If they did belong they would have left during the day as though there was nothing to hide. There is evidence in 'Woman before the Rising Sun' of rejection and banishment as a woman is standing alone facing a natural landscape with her back to the audience (society/the court) and is wearing formal garments with a crown suggesting that she once lived in civili...


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...th rejection and acceptance in order to be confident in social situations.

Ultimately one must first be rejected from society to accept one’s self to gain a sense of belonging and therefore be confident in social situations. Casper David Friedrich has demonstrated rejection and acceptance as well as individuality throughout his painting ‘Woman before the Rising Sun’ in a similar way to how Shakespeare has demonstrated belonging in his play ‘As You Like It’. These two texts have clear links that demonstrate a similar concept of belonging which proves that rejection plus acceptance equals social confidence, self-acceptance is belonging to self and being confident in social situations and therefore equals human fulfillment as belonging is the fundamental nature of humans longing to be confident in social situations.



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As You Like It, William Shakespeare


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