Love in "As You Like it" by William Shakespeare.

Essay by nyfoleyHigh School, 12th gradeA, February 2006

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

In the timeless masterpiece "As You Like It," William Shakespeare covers a wide range of serious topics, while still keeping a light-hearted, comedic tone about the majority of the play. One topic that is obviously touched upon in the play is the major theme of different faces of love. In his depiction of the four couples (Orlando and Rosalind, Silvius and Phebe, Oliver and Celia, and Touchstone and Audrey) Shakespeare offers four differing perspectives on love and its many aspects.

The first type of love is the most poetic and romantic of the play. It is the dream of love at first sight, and that two different people are meant for each other and none else. This blooms purely through Oliver and Celia toward the end, but is mostly shown through the young love of Orlando and Rosalind. It shows many peoples vision not necessarily of what love is, but what love should be.

Orlando and Rosalind see each other, and although they both are smitten with each other, Orlando is unable to even speak to Rosalind for his nerves have rendered him speechless. After Rosalind leaves the room Orlando to wonder, "What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference." (94) However, neither Rosalind nor Orlando truly know what love is, and it is shown through Orlando's sub-par poetry. Not until much later does his love for Rosalind fully blossom into a much more mature attitude towards the woman he loves than at the beginning of the play. Only when this happens does Rosalind truly realize how much she loves Orlando, rather than just being taken with desire, and they are married.

Of course a similar circumstance is shown through the love of Oliver and Celia, although the love Oliver and...