In Shakespeare's As You Like It, what is the relationship between Oliver and Orlando in the beginning and at the end?

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the play, Orlando discusses his unfortunate relationship with his brother Oliver with the elderly servant Adam. Then Oliver shows up and the two brothers quarrel over how Oliver has treated Orlando since their father died. Oliver even gets a little physical with Oliver:

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
I am no villain: I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Bois: he was my father; and he is thrice a villain that says such
a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not
take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out
thy tongue for saying so: thou has railed on thyself"(I.i.43-48).

Throughout the course of the play, the evil Duke asks Oliver to go find Orlando for him. Oliver goes, but Orlando saves his older brother from a snakes grasp and bite, then he saves him from a lion who would have eaten him. Finally, Orlando suffers a wound from the lion and shows Oliver the way to Duke Senior where Oliver is welcomed with love. Oliver's mind is changed as he is shown mercy from one who could have let him die in the forest; their brotherly relationship is thus mended (IV.iii). Consequently, due to the fact that Orlando shows his brother mercy, Oliver changes his hatred to love and does not turn Orlando over to the Duke Frederick.


Read the study guide:
As You Like It

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question