Explain As You Like It as a pastoral romance
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“As You Like It” is a pastoral romance, a subgenre of fiction that describes itself as “a pastoral poem or prose narrative in which the action takes place in a country idyll or imaginary landscape.” In the play “As You Like It” written by William Shakespeare, a group of banished princes and lords are living in an area known as the Forest of Arden.
Duke Senior is banished by his brother and runs away to the forest of Arden. Orlando, the male protagonist of the play, also runs away from the city and begins his pastoral romance in Arden. In the forest, Orlando falls in love with Rosalind, a young woman who is the daughter of the Duke’s courtier.
Rosalind has a secret identity, as she is actually a man named Ganymede. After Rosalind reveals her true identity to Orlando, they marry. During their time in the forest, Orlando meets many other characters including Silvius and Phebe, the two lovers from the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. The play ends with Duke Frederick’s coronation and the marriage of his daughter, Celia, to Paris.
As the whole play takes place in the forest, it can be considered as a pastoral romance. In addition, Shakespeare uses an idyllic setting for his story and focuses on the love between man and woman.
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