One of the main concerns of man throughout the centuries has probably been to define the concept of love and to understand the complexities that govern love relationships among people. William Shakespeare seems to have been fully aware of the need and interest in love, since his work transcends time and place. Love is the central concern in As You Like It. This comedy presents different attitudes towards love, which may be derived from the conversations among its characters and from the romantic attachments portrayed in it. By comparing the different love relations in the play, one may further appreciate important facts about the concept of love. Moreover, love is also depicted as the force that rules over all kinds of human ties other than the romantic ones, namely familial bonds and friendship. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the concept of love portrayed in As You Like It, and to explore the different varieties of love relationships among its characters.
A reading of As You Like It may lead us to an understanding of the concept of love as embodying different ideas, which might be observed through the characters of the play. These ideas, love's wealth, love's truth, and love's order, are expressed in the characters' perceptions of love and in the way they relate to one another.
One of the interpretations attributed to the concept of love in this comedy, and often portrayed in Shakespeare's plays, is that of love as a kind of richness, as a commercial enterprise in which men and women trade. Under this light, the bond beaten lovers gains a mercantilistic value and may thus be regarded as a kind of contract...
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...portrayed in Shakespeare's As You Like It, and to examine the love relationships in it. Through a careful observation of the characters' perceptions about love, and of the way they engage in love relationships, we may conclude that the concept of love may be attributed different meanings, depending on individual and personal beliefs. Our conclusion may be derived from the various types of comic relations: familial, sexual, romantic, and friendship.
Works Cited and Consulted
Howard, Jean E., "Intoduction to As You Like It." The Norton Shakespeare Ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et.al. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.
Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. The Norton Shakespeare. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W.W. Norton Company, 1997.
Sparknotes. As You Like It, by William Shakespeare. 8 Nov. 2004
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