Discuss one of the hardships Orlando has faced in Act 1 and 2 of As You Like It.

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act 1 of As You Like It, Orlando’s first hardship is a lack of inheritance from his recently deceased father.  Orlando is the youngest of Sir Rowland’s three sons.  By law, Oliver, the eldest son inherited their father’s entire estate and has only given Orlando a mere 1,000 crowns, which is not enough for a gentleman of Orlando’s social standing to live on.  Orlando’s second hardship in Act 1 is that not only has Oliver not shared enough of the inheritance, he has also refused to honor their father’s wishes and pay for Orlando’s education as a gentleman.  Oliver has provided for Jacques’ education, Sir Rowland’s second son, but Oliver refuses to pay for the youngest son’s education as well.  Orlando’s third hardship found in Act 1, takes place after he successfully conquers Charles, the court wrestler, in a wrestling match.  When Duke Frederick learns that Orlando is Sir Rowland’s son, Duke Frederick’s enemy, instead of praising Orlando he threatens him and he has to run away from court.  But since Oliver was hoping that Charles would kill Orlando, Orlando also does not dare go back to Oliver’s house and, in Act II, flees to the woods where Duke Senior lives in banishment where all the characters in the play meet.  Orlando’s hardships are fixed at the end of the play when Oliver falls in love with Duke Frederick’s daughter and promises Orlando the inheritance.

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As You Like It

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