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The saying that "Blood is thicker than water" means that close relations are more loyal, trustworthy, and dependable that acquaintances, strangers, or even friends. In Shakespeare's "As You Like It" some of the characters' worst enemies are blood relatives. The exiled Duke was usurped by his own brother and is living almost like a homeless person in the Forest of Arden. Orlando is hated and abused by his older brother Oliver, who encourages a wrestler to try to maim Orlando or even kill him in their forthcoming bout. By contrast, Adam, an old, infirm servant who is not related to Orlando, is exceedingly loyal to Orlando, even following him into exile. Conversely, Orlando is exceedingly loyal to Adam, risking his life by demanding food from the Duke and all his followers and refusing to eat anything until he has provided for Adam. Touchstone is comparably loyal to Rosalind, although not related to her. Celia abandons her father and her secure home in order to be with Rosalind, whom she loves. Orlando and Rosalind, though not related by blood, fall deeply in love. The most loyal, trustworthy and dependable characters in the play are those who are not blood relatives of the characters who need to rely on them.
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