In As You Like It, how does Charles describe the exiled Duke Senior and his court?  

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Although Charles is but a minor character in this excellent comedy, appearing but in Act I, he, in his role as Duke Ferdinand's wrestler, plays an important part in terms of filling the audience in with important information about what has happened in the world that we are introduced to. Note how in Act I scene 1 we principally see this, as it is Charles that tells us about the feud between Duke Ferdinand and Duke Senior, and how Duke Senior has left court with his nobles and set up a kind of alternative court in the Forest of Arden. Note how Charles describes this court:

They say he is already in the Forest of Arden and a many merry men with him, and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day and fleet the time carelessly as they did in the golden world.

Thus Charles links Duke Senior's exiled court to that of Robin Hood and his merry men. In particular, note how we already see a distinction drawn between the political, Machiavellian intrigue of court life in teh city and the careless, languid passing of time in the "golden world." This of course is a contrast that will continue to be developed throughout the play.

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