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Jaques of the forest is the philosopher of As You Like it. As such he provides the alternate view to the optimistic celebration of pastoral life embraced by all the others; his alternate negative view sheds light on Phebe's behavior toward Silvius, which seems out of keeping with the pastoral ideal. Also, Jaques of the forest is in some ways a parallel to Jaques, Orlando's brother, who is invisible until the end of the play. While Jaques of the forest is the philosopher of the forest, Jaques the brother was educated, an education which would have encompassed philosophy. Jaques the brother comes on the scene to tell the principal characters about the religious conversion, and attendant abdication, of Duke Frederick while Jaques of the forest, inspired partly by Duke Frederick's action, quits the life of Arden to explore the religious life for himself. Jaques' role perhaps suggests that both courtly and pastoral life must be tempered by philosophy that is grounded in religious belief.
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