"The Taming of the Shrew" and "As You Like It"
An examination of the theme of love in Shakespeare's plays "The Taming of the Shrew" and "As You Like It"
# 26872 | 1,624 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 |
Published on May 19, 2003 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew) , Shakespeare (As You Like It)
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This paper looks at how, in both plays, there are contrasting couples used to illustrate different concepts of love and who balance one another. It shows how, in "As You Like It", Phebe and Silvius, the rustics, are lovers contrasted with Orlando and Rosalind. This is compared to the way love is presented in "The Taming of the Shrew" in a somewhat different light, since what needs to be overcome here is the reluctance of the lovers themselves to be in love.
From the Paper:"Both plays have a certain folktale quality that indicates their origins. As You Like It derives from tales in which an old king has three daughters, with the older one wicked and the younger one good, and from one in which a knight has three sons, the oldest one wicked and the youngest one good. The younger son in the latter escapes from a plot by his brother and later returns in triumph. Orlando is gentler than the average folktale hero but still lives out the basic pattern, here mixed with the gender change Shakespeare uses so often as Rosalind, hiding out from her family, dons the garb of a young man and fools even the man who loves her. Apparent in such a story, however, is the fact that on some level, the lover recognizes the fine qualities of his beloved even when hidden behind a different persona. In addition to the balance offered in the contrast between these lovers and the rustics, Celia and Oliver become lovers and also serve to live out ideas about love and how it changes lovers. Still another set of lovers is found in the hired fool, Touchstone, and Audrey."
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