A critical examination of the ways in which Shakespeare’s As You Like It uses and undermines the conventions of pastoral form

Pastoral is a genre is one that was developed by the Greeks and Romans in classical times and is derived from the Latin word ‘pastor’ which literally means shepherd. This term was used to describe a type of literature, whether it be verse, prose or drama, that depicted an idealised vision of rural life. During the sixteenth century this classic fantasy of an idyllic rural life was revitalised as part of the Renaissance movement which held “enthusiasm for all things classical.” It has been said that the reason for the pastoral being so popular during the Renaissance was “the desire to conceive of circumstances in which the complexity of human problems could be reduced to its simplest ...

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as a major aspect of 16th century pastoral literature; the contrasts between country and court were often used to highlight political and social injustices within the court. Shakespeare, however, took this a step further and used As You Like It to develop the genre. While still continuing to use the traditional conventions of pastoralism, Shakespeare also used them in such a way as to question the true idealisms of the time.
During the late 1500’s the pastoral form became very popular with many of the courtly writers, such as Marlowe, Sidney and Spenser, and this created a widespread knowledge of the genre among the Renaissance audience by the time of 1600; the time when it is believed As You Like it was first performed. This is what gave Shakespeare the scope to be able to create a kind of parody of the pastoral conventions. He did not use the genre to create “pure escapism” like the traditional classical conventions of pastoral but instead he used the genre like many of his ...

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hear that “the old Duke is banished by his younger brother the new Duke” and is now living in the forest of Arden. This plot seems to be following the typical conventions of the genre; that of city life into country life and would be familiar to the Renaissance audience. When the play reaches Act 2 Scene 1, the audience find the Duke Senior with his followers in the Forest of Arden, enjoying the country life and, on the surface, saying how much better it is than the courtly world. The Duke asks his men “Are not these woods/ More free from peril than the envious court?”(II.I.3-4). This question highlights the violent, and murderous nature of the court and contrasts to the new land in ...

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A critical examination of the ways in which Shakespeare’s As You Like It uses and undermines the conventions of pastoral form. (2011, May 14). Retrieved September 20, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/critical-examination-ways-Shakespeares-You-Like/99151
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"A critical examination of the ways in which Shakespeare’s As You Like It uses and undermines the conventions of pastoral form." Essayworld.com. May 14, 2011. Accessed September 20, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/critical-examination-ways-Shakespeares-You-Like/99151.
"A critical examination of the ways in which Shakespeare’s As You Like It uses and undermines the conventions of pastoral form." Essayworld.com. May 14, 2011. Accessed September 20, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/critical-examination-ways-Shakespeares-You-Like/99151.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/14/2011 06:04:24 PM
Submitted By: halez_rocks
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3232
Pages: 12

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