The Duet of Ethical Identity and Pastoral Ideal in Shakespeare’s As You Like It

  •  Fang Kang    


Shakespeare’s As You Like It is no doubt a successful pastoral model, whether read as a play of complete celebration of the spirit of pastoral romance or as a sheer satire of the pastoral ideal, in which the pastoral quality should very much rely on its characteristic pastoral setting, the Forest of Arden in comparison with Sicily and Arcadia. However, it should be noteworthy that Shakespeare seems not only to build an idealized Arden, but also to rebuild a real ethical court in the forest by destroying the ethical order in the city court. By this way the forest setting serves invisibly as a symbolized, idealized pastoral court, with the Duke and his followers rebuilding a new ethical field. Thus there reaches a compromise between idealism and realism and a duet between the ethical and the political order has been well established. Along with the ethical identities reconstructed the pastoral court has been highlighted which suggests a success in finding the pastoral ambience as an idealized way to melt the ethical and the political values into one sweet symphony of brotherhood.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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