A2 Homework: Elements of the Pastoral: As You Like It (Act One)

Hello Upper Sixth!

Your homework is this:

In ways does Shakespeare establish the differences between the court and country in Act One of As You Like It?

In your answer you might consider:

Orlando’s opening soliloquy – how does Shakespeare use it to create binary oppositions between the court and country?

Characters who represent the court – Oliver, Duke Frederick, Monsieur Le Beau… What are the qualities of courtly life that are suggested by these characters?

Moments where country living seems to be over-sentimentalised – how does Shakespeare use language to gently mock that which is ‘pastoral’? (Ref. Gifford?)

The theme of Nature vs. Nurture – which has the greater influence? Consider the discussion between Celia and Rosalind in scene 2, as well as Oliver, Duke Frederick and M. Le Beau’s comments on this topic.

* Celia and Rosalind’s preparations for the journey at the end of scene 3 – In what ways will they take the ‘court’ with them? (Think beyond the literal.)

Due: Friday 23rd January



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