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There is a real irony in this important scene as Oliver goes back to court to report to Duke Frederick that he has been unable to locate his brother, Orlando. As punishment, Duke Frederick says that he has twelve months to succeed in his task, and if he fails, Oliver will lose all of his land and wealth. The Duke takes them at this stage of the play whilst Oliver is engaged on his quest. Note what the Duke says:
Bring him dead or living
Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more
To seek a living in our territory.
Of course, the irony is that Orlando had his rightful inheritance and style of life taken from him by his brother, Oliver, just as Oliver is having his wealth and lands taken from him now by Duke Frederick. It seems that what goes around comes around, and acts of injustice are revisited on those that committed them.
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