How is the speech 'Sweet are the uses of adversity' justified by the characters of As You Like It????? 

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare's play presents the Forest of Arden as a very pleasant place where the banished Duke and his loyal followers are enjoying life in spite of the fact that they are living in primitive conditions, "like Robin Hood of old." They have very little to do but enjoy the beauty of nature. Their meals are like picnics. They are free from the artificiality and hypocrisy of the court life they left behind. The people who are drawn to the Forest of Arden are changed by the beauty and simplicity of the environment. These characters include Orlando, Rosalind, Celia, and even Touchstone, who becomes a philosopher, a lover, and an important personage. Then Oliver is dramatically changed when he comes there in pursuit of Orlando. There is something magical about the place--just as there is about Prospero's island in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

There is a deep truth in Duke Senior's statement that "Sweet are the uses of adversity." Sometimes when we experience misfortune it turns out to be good fortune. For example, a man might lose his job and end up getting a much better one, or moving to a different locale where he meets people who are important in his life. Adversity almost always brings out strengths in people's characters. It makes people stop and think, reevaluate their lives, their values, and their goals. Adversity forces change, and change can lead to improvement, as it does in the lives of all the characters involved in As You Like It.

People naturally fear misfortune and long for good fortune; but if the distinction is carefully studied, misfortune often turns out to be good fortune and good fortune to be misfortune.               -Buddha


Further Reading:
sweetrinky | Student

this is a line said by duke senoir where he rightfully speaks that the uses of misfortune are good . though suffering miseries is something we hate but the uses of those sufferings are sweet because it teaches us the way to overcome it and . if we discuss about the characters of the play we will find that duke senoir was banished by his usurping brother, duke frederick who was a cruel man but at the end of the play he becomes a changed man and even oliver who was very greedy and cruel to his brother also becomes a changed man when we arrives the forest of arden which is not as good place as the court. the people in court live a lavish life but the life in the arden is quite difficult so we can call it a adversity but the characters like oliver and duke frederick become changed when they arrive arden . so this proves that the uses of adversity are "sweet" and moreover regarding duke senior , though he was banished in the forest of arden and had to suffer the winter which was bitingly cold he had  learnt a lot because he became more wiser and he was able to recognise that in the court there was mere flattery and no  true  friend every one in the court was envious  but in arden there was no flattery but truthfulness. moreover we also get the information from the play that duke Senior and the lords accompanying him were living a merry life like that of robin hood and fleeted their time carelessly, this gain proves that uses of adversities are sweet . if we talk about rosalind and celia when Rosalind was banished by her uncle and they left the court, they were also in a difficult situation but this situation came out to be helpful to them as they were able to get what they wanted and also rosalind met orlando in the forest of arden. thus the role played by the characters in the play justifies the line "sweet are the uses of adversities"

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As You Like It

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