Does anyone die in As You Like It?

Quick answer:

None of the characters die in As You Like It, even though death is a palpable threat throughout the story.

Expert Answers

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No one dies in As You Like It, but there is no shortage of mortal peril for the characters, tempering the comedic elements of the story.

What makes the danger in the play so striking is that it is mostly directed from family members toward their own kin. Orlando's life is threatened by his brother Oliver, who plots to have him killed. Duke Frederick violently usurps his brother Duke Senior and then threatens to kill his niece Rosalind if she does not leave the court.

Even outside of families, there is still peril. Duke Frederick threatens Oliver with death if he does not bring Orlando back to the court. The Forest of Arden itself is a hotbed of potential danger, with Rosalind and Celia fearful of being raped or murdered there.

Fortunately, no one is harmed in As You Like It, let alone killed. Oliver abandons his murderous intentions after his detested brother rescues him from being slaughtered by a lioness. Duke Frederick repents of his traitorous deeds by restoring his brother to the throne and pursuing a religious life. In the end, marriage and justice win the day, dispelling the darkness of the many violent threats that previously loomed over the characters.

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