Plot Line Revealed in Act 1 of Shakespeare’s As You Like It

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1282 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The opening scene of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, in which there is nothing light – hearted, is completely expository and contrived but fulfilling its function of revealing the plot line to the audience. The fact that Shakespeare uses this kind of dramatic technique in the first scene twice shows that he wants to make the wickedness of Oliver perfectly clear. The action starts when Orlando, the younger brother decides to rebel against the oppression of his older brother, who is treating him like a common pheasant.
He tells Oliver:

‘The spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.’

Orlando’s complaints are completely justified, as Oliver is mean spirited and malicious in the treatment of Orlando, which the audience can clearly see from this opening scene. Oliver appears cold and distant when he speaks with Orlando:

‘Now, sir, what make you here?’

-And this contrasts greatly with the ‘sisterly bond’ between Rosalind and Celia. Orlando approaches Oliver with defiance and a confrontational attitude, arousing the audiences interest at this quarrel, and establishing his character: assertive, honest and bold, a character that every audience will like and take an interest in. Oliver also shows that he is adept in the wordplay matches the play holds. Orlando and Oliver exchange much verbal sparring in the first scene, including when Orlando seizes his brother by the throat, Oliver exclaims,

‘Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?’

Orlando picks up the root meaning of these words, that he is a person of ignorable birth and replies,
‘I am no villain: I am the younger son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains.’
Shakespeare uses an artful device to portray information to the audience by using the two quarrelling brothers. In Oliver’s soliloquy we can almost anticipate that he is planning something against Orlando:
‘I hope I shall see an end of him’

The opening scene begins with conflict and tension, which arouses interest in the audience. It also presents us with strong character interactions and strong feelings: jealousy, hatred and wickedness, all of which are appealing for anyone watching the play. The theme of injustice also entices the audience and the fact that Oliver is planning against his younger brother is particularly interesting.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Plot Line Revealed in Act 1 of Shakespeare’s As You Like It." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Jul 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=19278>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Setting in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay example - Swaying trees in the distance, blue skies and birds chirping, all of these are examples of setting. Setting can create the mood and tone of characters in a story. In the story Hills Like White Elephants, the story starts out with our two characters, Jig and the American, also referred to as the man, on a train overlooking mountains. “The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry” (Hemingway). In the case of this short story, the hills provided Jig something to take her mind off of the grueling conversation she was having with the Man....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
710 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
How Multiple Incidents Develop the Plot Line in The Great Gatsby Essay - F. Scott Fitzgerald brilliantly wrote many novels as well as short stories. One of his best known works is The Great Gatsby. In the novel, the main character Jay Gatsby tries to obtain his lifetime dreams: wealth and Daisy Buchanan. Throughout the story, he works at achieving his goals while overcoming many obstacles. Fitzgerald’s plot line relies heavily on accidents, carelessness, and misconceptions, which ultimately reveal the basic themes in the story. During the book, Fitzgerald is able to create a superior storyline by tying all the events in the story, directly or indirectly, together....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
915 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Effectiveness of Shakespeare's Exposition of Plot, Character, Theme and Atmosphere in the First Act of Othello - The Effectiveness of Shakespeare's Exposition of Plot, Character, Theme and Atmosphere in the First Act of Othello The action of the first scene increases the audience’s anticipation of Othello’s first appearance. The audience learn Iago’s name in the second line of the play and Roderigo’s soon afterward, but Othello is not once mentioned by his name. Rather, he is ambiguously referred to as “he” and “him.” He is also called “the Moor”, “the thick-lips” and “a Barbary horse” all names signifying that he is dark-skinned....   [tags: Papers] 954 words
(2.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Account of the Plot Against Malvolio Essay - Account of the Plot Against Malvolio The plot against Malvolio begins when Sir Andrew, Sir Toby and Feste the clown return to Olivia's house drunk. At the beginning of Act Two, scene Three the trio are making a tremendous amount of noise dancing on and around the kitchen table, shouting and singing at the top of their lungs. This commotion causes Maria - a maid of Olivia's - to come down and warn them to be quiet, saying 'what a caterwauling do you keep here!' (Act Two Scene Three, Line 66)....   [tags: Papers] 744 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on As You Like It - A Critical Analysis of Act 1 - The Act 1 of AS YOU LIKE IT prepares the audience and the reader for the rest of the play. It is most similar to the prologue of the modern play where an insight to the rest of the play is provided. In the Act the relationships between Orlando and Oliver, Orlando and Adam, Rosalind and Celia, Touchstone and Rosalind and more importantly, the indirect bonding between Duke Fredrick and Oliver is established. Orlando and Oliver's relationship is based on hatred. It is similar to the relationship between Duke Frederick and the Senior Duke as also in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING of Duke Prospero and Don John....   [tags: European Literature] 430 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Intriguing Use of Plot in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - Intriguing Use of Plot in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily The plotline of standard narratives would most aptly be diagramed as a triangle, with the rising action on one side, the falling action on the other side, and the climax marking the angle at the apex. The diagram of the plotline of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," however, would look like a simple line with a positive slope. The story's chronology is abandoned in favor of a simpler and more effective geometry. Faulkner discards the method of unfolding events in the order of their occurrence....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
:: 1 Works Cited
1266 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Overview and Moral of Into the Woods: Play Analysis Essay examples - In society there is a longing for a story to have a nice and neat happy ending. Broadway and the theater originally would give this to their audience, especially in America. Give the audience what the want. They want happy endings that mirror their own values and interpretations of how the world should be and at the end of it should be, “and they all lived happily ever after.” The fairy tale ending is something society hopes, dreams, and strives for since we could listen to our parents read us fairy tales with these sweet stories of finding true love and having to fight the odds to be the Prince or Princess you deserve to be....   [tags: Plot Summary, Human Nature]
:: 5 Works Cited
2609 words
(7.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Is Great Expectations Like a Soap Opera? Essay - Is Great Expectations like a soap opera. Consider all that Pip went through, or just take parts, like his trial with the girl, at first, she didn't like him, and then later on in his life, she loved him. Also, what are the chances that some poor boy that no one knows ends up inheriting a huge sum of money out of the blue one day, and that the person who leaves it to him is an escaped criminal who Pip just happened to help out one day. All of these things are coincidence, and that's mostly what soap operas are based on....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays] 1069 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Act One of Romeo and Juliet Essay - Act One immediately engages the audience. Do you agree with this statement. How does Shakespeare achieve this. Act One of 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare does indeed immediately engage the audience. Shakespeare does this by using several language techniques to create an interesting opening scene. Shakespeare uses humour, action and romance all in Act One and it is this variation that keeps the audience's attention. The play begins with a prologue that is written in the form of a sonnet....   [tags: English Literature] 1785 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Attitudes Toward Love and Marriage in Shakespeare's As You Like It Essay - Attitudes Toward Love and Marriage in Shakespeare's As You Like It Nearly every character in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” has a marked opinion on love and marriage which ranges from the romantic Orlando to Ganymede who is quite skeptical of love and endeavors to “rid” Orlando of his petty infatuation for Rosalind. Touchstone, who has what I consider the most unique view on love and marriage put forth in the play, makes his views known in a speech concerning faith and his indifference thereof....   [tags: Papers] 694 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

Related Searches






Scene 2 starts with introducing the two principal women, Celia and Rosalind, who is in a melancholy mood, due to the banishment of her father. This scene interests an audience as it has a great variety of tone, character and action. When Celia bids her merry, her reply:

‘From henceforth I will coz, and devise sports. Let me see what think you of falling in love?’

-Reveals a character who will deliberately use her wit and intelligence to triumph over misfortune; and also reveals her sportive nature. We can already see from her character that she would be a fine match with Orlando, and the audience almost anticipates love between the two, further adding to the intrigue that has been developed from the first scene. The sportive nature of the women is intensified when Touchstone enters; who is funny himself, but also funny because of the jokes made at his expense. Rosalind gives us the impression that he is a simpleton:

‘Natures natural the cutter off of Natures wit.’

We can see that Touchstone will be the truth speaker and the ‘wise fool’ from early on:

‘The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.’

He is the test or measure of genuineness, and the audience will know to look out for his opinions and views in the future.

The comedy is diversified with the entry of Le Beau, whose actions make him the butt for more jokes and mockery;

‘Here comes Monsieur the Beu.’

He has the function of creating dramatic interest and appeal by telling the ladies about Charles, the wrestler, creating a scary image of him and making us wonder what will happen when Orlando fights him;

‘Which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of his ribs.’

With the theatrical entry to the wrestling and to the Duke, the tome changes, preparing us for the serious business of the scene and its dramatic climax. The emphasis is put on Orlando’s youth, which again holds the audience’s interest, as they would be fearful for him;

‘Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.’

Orlandos character is revealed even more so here, as he proves himself to be determined, courtly in language, but world weary;

‘I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing.’

The serious action of the fight and which Orlando is in danger but triumphs establishes him as a man of courageous action as the opening scene had shown him to be verbally adept, and therefore a fully worthy suitor of Rosalind, and this fact lets the audience anticipate their developing relationship, once again. Indeed we are told that he seem overwhelmed with Rosalind;

‘O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!’

Another character the audience will want to look out for is the Duke. He makes harsh decisions, is paranoid and has extremely inconsistent behaviour;

‘I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
The world esteemed thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy.’

Scene 3 contrasts greatly with scene 2 as it is more like a tragedy, than the lighthearted humour as before. Rosalinds love for Orlando is revealed;

‘No, some of it is for my child’s father.’

More dramatic tension is created as the Duke approaches;

‘With his eyes full of anger.’

We can anticipate that he is going to do something rash and unjust and he does, by banishing Rosalind from the court;
‘So near our public court as twenty miles’
Thou diest for it.’
This is an extreme threat, but it brings out Rosalind’s respective, innocent character;
‘Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your highness’
He is shown in the same light as Oliver, as a character whose actions reflect the darker side of human nature. By contrast Rosalind, who defends herself gracefully and with dignity, and Celia, who generously vows to share Rosalind’s exile, are characters of worth and integrity.

Shakespeare establishes the dramatic device of disguise in this scene, as the women pretend to be Ganymead and Aliena. This is undertaken for practical reasons, and also to be the main source of comedy throughout the play:
‘That I did suit me all points like a man?’

The final line of this first act, in which Celia says:
‘Now go in we content
To liberty, and not to banishment’
-Highlights one of the main themes of freedom from the court and the pastoral, but it also serves the function of the scene ending in optimism and giving the audience something to look forward to.

Overall, Act 1 presents the play to the audience in an interesting, exciting way. There are many developing plot lines to look out for, and many good and evil characters. Whilst the starting scene is conflict and tension filled, the preceding scene is light hearted and humorous, while the third scene has an element of tragedy in it, presenting a wide variety of emotions to the audience, therefore holding interest and developing intrigue into what the unfolding plot lines contain.


Return to 123HelpMe.com