What did Shakespeare intend in writing - "Sweet are the uses of adversity..." in Act II, scene 1 of As You Like It.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This exact question was asked about a week ago.  Here's how I answered it then:

At this point in the play, the Duke, father to Rosalind and uncle to Celia, has been exiled and is living in the forest of Arden.

In the lines you cite, he is talking about how much he likes living in the forest better than he liked living at court.  He admits that there is "adversity" (he cites the cold in particular) but says that the adversity is good for him.  The adversity is useful because it teaches him about who he really is.

When Shakespeare wrote these lines, he was arguing that rural, simple life is authentic and is more wholesome and honest than life at court.  He is praising country life and criticizing court life.

ankugupta | Student
  • DUKESENIOR SAYS THESE WORDS TO  HIS LORDS IN THE FOREST OF ARDEN.HE FINDS LIFE IN THE FOREST BETTER THAN LIFE IN THE COURT AS, IT IS FAR AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE FLATTERY,THOUGH  HE ACCEPTS THAT LIFE IN THE FOREST IS NOT EASY BECAUSE HE HAS TO ENDURE HARSH CLIMATIC CONDITIONS BUT,THOSE HOSTILE CONDITIONS TAUGHT HIM HIS LIMITATIONS   AND WHERE HE STANDS IN FRONT OF NATURE.
Read the study guide:
As You Like It

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question