What is the role of fortune in Shakespeare's As You Like It?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Fortune serves a role in the play in as much as desire for fortune drives the plot forward; however, once the characters are in the Forest of Arden, fortune ceases to be of significance.

The desire for fortune especially moves the plot forward by being the driving force that sends the characters into exile in the Forest of Arden. Duke Senior is driven into exile because his brother Frederick is jealous of both his fortune and his power as duke. In addition, Orlando is also driven into exile in the forest because he was rightly jealous of the fortune his own brother Oliver had that should have been distributed to Orlando based on their father's will. Rightfully wanting what should be his, Orlando confronts Oliver who happens to be denying Orlando his inheritance out of jealousy of...

(The entire section contains 421 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team