Please give me a detailed analysis of As You Like It Act 1 scene 2.

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

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This scene, in which we see the love and deep friendship that Rosalind and Celia have for one another and also Rosalind and Orlando meet and fall mutually in love after Orlando has triumphed in a wresting match, is normally analysed in terms of the relationship that Rosalind and Celia have. It is important to note how their loving relationship compares with the discord between the Dukes and also between Orlando and Oliver. Yet also in their conversation Shakespeare introduces two key concepts: Fortune and Nature, which Rosalind and Celia talk about using clever and ingenious wordplay. Consider the following speech:

When Nature hath made a fair creature may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?

We can thus see the central opposition between these two states. Even though someone like Orlando is gifed by Nature in terms of his strength and good looks, Fortune acts against him in terms of his relationships and how he is regarded by those in power. These two rival concepts return many times throughout the play and act as motifs as Nature wars with Fortune.

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