Belonging - as You Like Is

Belonging is important in how we define ourselves. Our sense of belonging or connection can emerge from people and places. In William Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It, a sense of belonging is perceived and developed with the formation of various relationships. Different relationships are explored through different contexts, such as love, family and friendships. A sense of connection is also developed within important locations in the text. The Forest of Arden, while may not be luxurious, is a place where characters develop a strong sense of belonging. This is primarily due to the connections the characters make with other people.
As You Like It is set in two main locations; the Forest of Arden and the Court. Shakespeare uses these two settings to as juxtaposition. As a ‘good vs. evil’ concept, the Forest is perceived as a place where true belonging can be found. For example, Celia, upon leaving the court says: ‘to liberty, and not to banishment’ (i, iii). This close reference to the Forest shows how pleasant life shall be, directly contrasted with how disrupted life was in the Court. When analysing how people feel true belonging when making connections to people and places, the characters in the text are more easily able to belong in the forest than the Court. This is traced primarily back to who’s in the forest rather than the specific location.
Dramatic irony is used in acts iii to v. The audience understand that Rosalind is Ganymede and Celia is Aliena. As the characters in the play are unaware, Rosalind is able to manipulate her role in order to get to know Orlando. ‘I would cure you if you would but call me Rosalind... woo me’ (Rosalind; iii, iii). This use of irony provides Rosalind the opportunity to establish her sense of belonging with Orlando in the context of love.
The relationship between Orlando and Rosalind is continued in act iii. As prompted by himself, Orlando carves letters on the trees. The device of satire and exaggeration are demonstrated...