Whoever Loved That Loved Not At First Sight

"Whoever loved that loved not at first sight" is a quote from Shakespeare's As You Like It. How far is this statement applicable to some characters in this play?

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Phoebe's statement that "Who ever loved that loved not at first sight" expresses her view of love. She thinks that a person hasn't really loved until they have fallen in love at first sight. The characters who most exemplify this sentiment are Orlando and Rosalind, who become smitten by each other the first time they meet and do not let go of that feeling. Though Phoebe herself falls in love with the disguised Rosalind, she contradicts her own view by marrying Silvius, who she has never loved.


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Phebe, a shepherdess, makes this statement to Silvius in Act III, scene 5 of the play. The statement applies to Phebe herself, as she tells Silvius, who is madly in love with her, "the time was that I hated thee, / And yet it is not that I bear thee love" (III.5.103-104). In other words, she used to hate him, and she still doesn't love him, but she offers him friendship. Instead, Phebe has fallen in love with Rosalind , who is disguised as Ganymede. Phebe never comes to love Silvius, though Rosalind tricks her into marrying Silvius at the end of the play. Phebe did not love Silvius at first sight...

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