By writing on the trees, Orland is literally inscribing his meaning into the space. “The Dispraise of the Country In “As You Like It”” Shakespeare Quarterly 36.3 (1985): 300-14. The lion and snake are symbolic not of nature’s wildness, but of the darkness and vice within society and within the human mind and spirit that a man must venture into the wilderness to overcome. 243-273 . In her essay “’Here at the Fringe of the Forest’ Staging Sacred Space in As You Like It,” Helga L. Duncan describes the fringe of the Forest of Arden as a “’heterotopia’,” (123) a place where two different spatial conceptions of the sacred come together. All of the good characters in the court are banished or exiled to the forest at the start of the play. Print. Duke Ferdinand too reinvents himself when he comes to the forest, and is drawn by the sacred utopian space to leave the court behind and “put on a religious life” (Shakespeare 5.4.175) in the fashion of the Christian hermits. In order to build virtues one must simply go on a pilgrimage, one must be a tourist: to stay in a utopian sacred space forever would be to become a part of it; to become “unbounded, undefinable, potentially anarchic” (Duncan 123) ―in other words, to be so changeable as to cease to really be anything. When Rosalind is banished by her uncle, Celia suggests that together they leave for the Forest of Arden and it will not be an exile but a step towards freedom. Rosalind becomes symbolic of this day-trip idea; she is the tour guide in the play who bridges civilization and nature: “Rosalind serves as a gatekeeper, facilitator, and mediator between the locative realm of the sacred and the wild” (Duncan 133) because she lives on the fringes of the forest but eventually journeys into its heart before returning to the locative space of civilization to incite reform with the help of her new husband. No, because it is “a place set apart, even though it is set apart for them. Multiple religions―Buddhism and Christianity foremost among them―include figures who withdraw into the wilderness and live in isolation in order to connect with God or come to terms with humanity. The national parks have long been seen as the breeding grounds of virtue and democratic values. It provides solitude. Only in the forest are the demons that wrack Oliver and Orlando’s relationship made solid flesh, and thus only there can they be vanquished and the brothers reconciled; the snake retreats and the lion is defeated. (53). While the parks are often described as an escape from modern society and they retain the image of “the true “America,” (Ross-Bryant 50) as it was before it was settled by Europeans, they are actually often “civilized” in even more dramatic ways that puts the idea of their perfection into question. The anarchy of a utopian space make it the perfect testing ground for such demons, which are symbolized in As You Like It by the snake and lion that Orlando must “give battle to” (Shakespeare 4.4.131) to save his brother’s life. In As You Like It, the fringe of the forest, inhabited by shepherds, is still a part of society to a degree―it is where society is beginning to fray, but it is not yet a truly transformative utopian space. In other words, by calling the Forest of Arden a desert Shakespeare is basically calling it a utopian space; a place for “banished men” like the Duke and his attendants, that is “not labored”, in other words farmed, or colonized like the locative cities and bottomlands, but rather left wild. Duke Senior describes the court as “painted pomp…the envious court”. Again, it must be noted that it isn’t until the nucleus of society moves to the wilderness that virtue and order can be restored to society as a whole. As You Like It is set in a forest, but it is difficult to be clear about the As You Like It setting. This “civilization” comes in many forms, including the building of roads and hotels, controlled burning of the forests, dredging of the lakes, and either culling or protecting the wildlife populations within the parks (Ross-Bryant 50-51). However, while touring the fringes of the parks can incite change, hanging out at the visitor’s center does not have as powerful of an effect as spending the night in the trees. While such statements underscore the fact that the parks are seen as sacred spaces, I would argue that acts like those Hutchings and Greeley witnessed aren’t in fact sacrilege, but simply a part of the ongoing conversation between humanity and the sacred that is constantly taking place in utopic spaces, giving them their heterogeneity and enlarging their possibilities. It is not a stretch to think that Shakespeare’s portrayal of the various banishments in As You Like It was influenced by Christianity’s “tendency to relocate and reinvent itself in new spaces of imagined potentiality” (Duncan 125). I’m told that as a toddler I dazzled my babysitters with compound sentences and big words like “precipitation”; now I want to use those big words to get into graduate school and earn my Creative Writing MFA. Web. As parks advocate John Muir said of the utopian space of Yosemite National Park: “no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man” (97). Duke Senior’s banishment, as mentioned above, is fitting because utopian spaces are said to be places of physical and spiritual exile. an act of desecration.” (Ross-Bryant 38), and Horace Greeley claimed that those who stripped the Sequoia bark and sold it in London were “vandals” (Ross-Bryant 38) of the sanctity of the park. Duke Senior is happier in the forest without the trappings of his dukedom. These two conceptions, she writes, are “locative” space and “utopian” space. . Shakespeare borrowed certain elements from Lodge’s Rosalynde where most of the scenes are laid in the Forest of Arden which is in France. Regardless of the position of the parks in time, Americans seem to agree on the fact that they are places of transformation, with the ability to reform those who enter them and instill American democratic values. Would a Muslim ever claim to live in the sacred mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in Mecca? Duke Frederick would not want to banish his enemies to a perfect life of leisure; better to send them to a “’no place’” perfectly suited to their banishment because it “signifies a faith defined by physical and spiritual exile” (Duncan 123). When the court had become a place of sin, a place where “all gentlemanlike qualities” are “obscure[ed] and hidd[en]” (Shakespeare 1.1.63-64), it turns out that it is a trip to the utopian sacred space of the Forest of Arden and not an increased allowance that is “such exercis[e] as may become a gentlemen” (Shakespeare 1.1.66-67). Orlando saves him selflessly and inside the Forest of Arden, Oliver’s heart changes and he acknowledges his brotherhood. This is important in that previously, Oliver’s motives have been questionable. As Duncan writes, “the move not only to the fringe of society but to the wilderness, to profoundly nontraditional sites as loci for the sacred, became a key gesture of spiritual power as well as reformatory zeal” (125). Celia disguises her nobility to become a poor woman, Aliena, in the forest. Print. Like most of the other English majors I know, I chose to pursue this degree because I’ve always loved reading and writing. I Introduction II Scenery and setting in As You Like It i) The description of the court and its Predominating mood ii) The Forest of Arden and its message III Concrete symbols in the play and their meaning i) Symbols describing and opposing court and forest ii) Symbols of love iii) Worldly symbols IV Conclusion V Bibliography This contradiction between the image of the parks as timeless and the reality of their subjection to the ravages of time and human innovation adds the utopian aspects of the parks, making them even more “undefinable” and “potentially anarchic” (Duncan 123) by confusing their place in time. This kind of communion with nature has an effect on both the people and the parks, contributing to their ever-changing heterogeneity. Daley argues in his essay “The Dispraise of the Country In ‘As You Like It’” that the images of the forest that Shakespeare presents are not hospitable ones. While the Forest of Arden might not be a friendly place in As You Like It, it is one worth valuing and protecting because of what can―and, in the play, does―happen within it. This dilemma also recalls the contradictory comments made about time in As You Like It. Orlando tries to avoid this troubling transition by carving words into the trees and hanging poems from them, as though he can single-handedly merge the forest with civilization. David R. Keller. On the one hand, Rosaline she reminds Orlando that “the poor world is almost six thousand years old” (Shakespeare 4.1.86), a statement that places the forest in a specific location in time and implies that it has evolved and changed with time’s passage. It logically follows that when Orlando and Oliver reconcile, it foreshadows the reconciliation of society with virtue: Duke Senior regaining his rightful place. Civilization encroach on the borders of the parks in the same way that it does on the Forest of Arden, but it can’t survive within them; while people can visit the parks and converse with the sacred, just like the banished men and women in As You Like It take up temporary residence in the forest, they must ultimately return to the sheltering locative spaces of civilization.

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