Comparing Hamlet and As You Like It


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Comparing Hamlet and As You Like It


In comparing and contrasting the settings of Hamlet and As You Like It, I have found that each time a good comparison is made an example to contrast it is discovered. Elements that are found in the settings of these plays are scenery and whether the setting is direct or indirect. In each of these plays both of these elements are alike and different.
In both plays the scenery is simply. This is partly because of the fact that there were not many props to be used in Shakespeare’s times. Some scenes in each play were set in similar places, such as inside castle walls and the forest. But even these scenes differ because the forest in As You Like It was welcoming and friendly, yet in Hamlet the forest was an evil place. The setting in Hamlet was also full of death scenes and tragedy, but in As You Like It, it was more lighthearted filled with gardens and flowers.
In both plays the castle was a sort of place that represented the evilness of the kings. The settings in the castle brought bad news or death. The majority of the scenes in Hamlet took place in this center of wickedness. In As You Like It not much time was spent in the evil building, but rather in the happy surroundings of nature.
The opening scene of Hamlet and As You Like It sets the mood by the mentioning of a dead father. In a glimpse this is a comparison of two young men struggling with the consequences of his father’s death. It is also obvious that both young men are not satisfied with the men who have taken over their father’s position. But this is the extent of comparison; in Hamlet the whole rest of the story is related to this solemn mood, whereas in As You Like It this mood is not the basis of the story.
A courtyard is used in the beginning of both plays. It seems to bring us news of what was happening in their lives before we were able to come in. In As You Like It the courtyard is bright and cheerful leading a reader to believe that it is a happy place telling of good news. Yet in Hamlet the courtyard is a dark and gloomy showing immediate sign of sadness.

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In Hamlet, act five scene two, the setting is of a two men fencing until their deaths. Hamlet and Osric’s battle was a very dramatic fight held within the palace with spectators. As You Like It begins with, in act one scene two, Charles and Orlando wrestling in the courtyard. Both settings had spectators watching these fighting events. They were both on palace grounds but one was inside the palace and the other was outside. In Hamlet the event was very horrifying and deadly. Whereas, Charles and Orlando’s wrestling match was funny, humorous, and entertaining.
The ending of the two plays is completely contrasting. The last setting and scene in Hamlet is full of death and disparity, with a tragic ending. This resulted in the collapsing of the kingdom of Denmark. As You Like It’s final scene is of love, marriage, and happiness. The end result is of a reunion of the families.
From comparing and contrasting the settings in Hamlet and As You Like It many ideas come to mind. Most of the comparisons are derived from the simple fact that the author is the same. Also, many of the scenes are set in similar surroundings because of the lack of scenery. Shakespeare was able to overcome this hardship by differentiating the moods of the plays even though the settings were extremely comparable.


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