In As You Like It, how would the production of certain scenes on stage be used to reflect the "truths" that emerge within the forest of Arden?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are certainly plenty of "truths" to choose from in this excellent play. One of the aspects that the play seems to focus on is the way that setting creates a dichotomy between life at court and life in the countryside. Let us remember that we are told in Act I scene 1 about the supposed joys of living in the countryside by Charles when he talks of the exiled Duke:

They say he is already in the Forest of Arden and a many merry men with him, and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say many young gentleman flock to him every day and fleet the time carelessly as they did in the golden world.

It would be interesting to use staging to reflect the corruption of court life through dark colours and a black imposing backdrop whilst the scenes set in the Forest of Arden could clearly be much more beautiful and lighter to suggest the very different way of living life. However, as the play progresses, one of its "truths" is that country life definitely has its disadvantages as well. Let us remember that Celia and Rosalind are forced to disguise themselves and there are wild dangers in the countryside too. Shakespeare moves us beyond a simple court life bad, country life good dichotomy towards a much more complicated situation that enables us to see the benefits of both ways of living.

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As You Like It

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