Discussion Topic

Oliver's resentment towards Orlando in Shakespeare's As You Like It

Summary:

Oliver resents Orlando primarily due to jealousy and rivalry. As the elder brother, Oliver feels threatened by Orlando's virtues and popularity, which highlight his own shortcomings. This resentment fuels his antagonistic behavior towards Orlando throughout the play.

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Why does Oliver hate Orlando in Shakespeare's As You Like It?

One thing Oliver says at the end of the opening scene is that he actually doesn't know why he "hates nothing more than" Orlando (I.i.166). Oliver further goes on to describe Orlando's virtues, such as the fact that despite Orlando never having had any formal education, he is very wise and knowledgeable; he is also noble and so "enchantingly beloved" by all that Oliver himself is hated by all, as we see in Oliver's lines:

Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts of enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world ... that I am altogether mispris'd. (166-71)

Literary critics have argued that Oliver's behavior is never fully explained, but we can surmise Oliver dislikes Orlando out of jealousy. He is jealous of Orlando's "talent, generosity, and aristocratic impulses" but does not see the same virtues in their youngest brother Jaques and so hates Orlando and treats him poorly but not Jaques (eNotes, "Oliver (Character Analysis)").

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Exactly why does Oliver not like Orlando in the beginning of As You Like It?

Oliver and Orlando are brothers, and it appears that Oliver is jealous of Orlando and simply dislikes him because Orlando is who he is.  In the link below to Oliver's character analysis, eNotes mentions that coming up with a reason for Oliver's dislike of Orlando must remain "conjecture" as there really isn't a straight answer given for it in the text of the play.

Remember, too, that Oliver and Orlando are feuding brothers who serve to highlight another brotherly feud in the same play, between Duke Frederick and Duke Senior.

Check the links below for more information.  Good luck!

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Why does Oliver call Orlando a villain in As You Like It?

It is always good with such questions that ask you to explain the meaning of a quote to look at the quote in context and see what happens before and after it to try and see if any contextual clues will give you an idea as to what it means. If we do this, we see that Oliver calls Orlando a "villain" in Act I scene 1 of this play after an argument between them in which Orlando complains that Oliver has not given him the education and upbringing that his father desired he should have. As the argument gets gradually more and more heated, it is clear that, although Oliver is older and has the power and money, Orlando is stronger than he is and is able to convincingly show his superiority through fighing with him. Orlando, exasperated with his brother and his attitude towards him, thus moves to handle him and wrestle with him. It is at this stage that Oliver calls his brother a villain, saying:

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

Thus the word indicates the distance and enmity between the brothers, introducing us with a fraternal relationship which is in need of reconciliation, just as we will soon hear about another fraternal relationship in need of reconciliation.

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Why does Oliver hate Orlando in As You Like It?

It possibly as simple as typical sibling rivalry. In 'As You Like It' Shakespeare is taking a theme which is so common in very many families and expanding it to encompass and magnify that on a huge scale - the social ramifications of taking sides in a whole country when ruling brothers are enemies. It's possible that Oliver is plain jealous (perhaps Orlando is better-looking as we know that Rosalind takes a shine to him.) We see that his natural personable nature and exquisite manners have not been excised by the lack of a finishing education in matters of court and etiquette and courtly behaviors. Oliver is most probably envious of the easy way his brother has with people,how people warm to him despite everything -in the way that people sometimes do - for no reason that we can quantify or measure - some people have a certan 'je ne sais quois' or 'charisma.' people gravitate towards warmth and generosity. Some critics think that Oliver shows him up in a bad light and wants rid of the comparison so he will have no rival.

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