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Characters vs. Destiny in As You Like It Essay

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     Does life make people what they are, or is life what a person makes of it? This question has been asked time and time again, and is still being argued over time and time again. Whether the author knew it or not, Shakespeare explored this question in his play As You Like It through the characters of the play. Characters who, like so many of his others, display typical human natures. Shakepeare seems to have captured a spirit in all of his characters that is so true to life that almost anyone can relate in some way or another.

Shakespeare is a writer who seems to so easily capture the true nature of people. Of course, never lacking humor as he portrays these characteristics. What might be harsh reality written by someone else, becomes that everyone can laugh at--even if that reality is about themselves.

Shakespeare has commonly explored the subjects of love, honor, revenge, justice, and countless others. Put these things together and he has explored the question of life and what makes a person's life what it is, or what makes a person who they are.

I would like to point out that in Shakespeare's play, As You Like It, there are characters who don't fit the mold of normal human life. As in life, there are always exceptions to the rule. However, for the purpose of writing a paper that doesn't turn into a book, I would like to focus on the characters, and aspects of the characters, that come most closely to personifying a typical view of normalcy.

 

First of all I would like to point out the obvious. There are just some things that a person is bound to have influenced by their circumstances. For example, if a person lives in France they will more than likely speak French. Depending on where exactly in France...


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...rsity of Chicago Press, 1946.

Harris, Laurie Lamzen, ed. Shakespearean Criticism : Volume 5. Detroit : Gale Research Company Book Tower, 1984.

Holland, Norman. Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. New York McGraw-Hill, 1966.

O'Connor, Evangeline M. Who's Who and What's What In Shakespeare. New York : Avenel Books, 1978.

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. Eds., Louis B. Wright and Virginia A. LaMar. New York : Washington Square Press, 1960.

Spurgeon, Caroline. Shakespeare's Imagery And What It Tells Us. London : Cambridge University Press, 1965.

Stevenson, Burton. The Standard Book of Shakespearean Quotations. New York : Funk & Wagnalls Company, Inc., 1953.

Thaler, Alwin. Shakespeare and Our World. Knoxville, TN University of Tennessee Press, 1966.

Webster, Margaret. Shakespeare Without Tears. New York Capricorn Books, 1975.

 


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