Write brief character sketchs that contrast Orlando and Oliver.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Orlando is the male hero figure in As You Like It though Rosalind is the true hero, dressed as she is in the garb of a youth. Orlando has latent abilities and greatness bound within him that have not been fulfilled because he was not educated or trained according to the conditions of his father's will.

Nonetheless, Orlando finds his strength and courage with the help of Adam, a long-time family servant and conquers the wrestling champion in a match. When he has to flee for his life and take refuge in Arden, his sentimental emotional side is revealed as he laments for the lose of Rosalind's love and writes untutored, ill-composed poetry on trees and hangs verse on bushes to adorn the forest of Arden with his musing on Rosalind's beauty and his great love of her. Adam sums up Orlando's character as he questions:

Why are you virtuous? why do people love you?
And wherefore are you gentle, strong and valiant?

Oliver is the villain and persecutor of Orlando. Oliver is part of Duke Frederick's court and together they do not hesitate to commit murder. Oliver is greedy, selfish, wrathful, and vengeful. After Orlando asserts his rights and asks for his inheritance, Oliver plots; as Adam explains it,

[having] heard [Orlando's] praises, ... this night he means
To burn the lodging where you use to lie
And you within it

Nonetheless, being, along with Orlando, the son of Sir Rowland de Boys, Oliver does have some innate quality of goodness that allows him to be reformed--and all it takes is a lioness and meeting Celia.

OLIVER: 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

gurden's profile pic

gurden | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

oliver is harsh in behevior while orlando is very kind.

oliver did not respected his elders for example Adam  while orlando had manners how to talk to his elders.

oliver falls in love with celia at the first sight while orlando falls in love with rosalind.

oliver ill-treats his younger brother orlando while orlando rebels against his elder brother oliver.

oliver is eldest son  of sir rowland de boys while orlando is the youngest.

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