Belonging - Comparison as You Like It (Shakespeare) & 1984 (George Orwell)

What’s your perspective?
Belonging is an odd concept and means different things to different people. However, you either do or you don’t belong, no two ways about it. Whether you’re Kate Middleton being accepted by the Queen or the school ‘loser’ wanting acceptance by the Queen Bee, it’s all about your perspective.

There has not been much change from Elizabethan times when William Shakespeare was writing about love, death and tragedy till today. The size of the skirts may differ but the role of perspective in belonging hasn’t. In ‘As You Like It’, one of Shakespeare’s many plays, he writes about the concept that your feelings of belonging depend on where you come from and the environment in which you grew up in. Throughout the play the contrast and juxtaposition of characters and images implants the sense that as the audience, we to should look around to see if we are being the ‘Queen Bee’s’ judging people to see if they fit the criteria of our own environment.

The play “As You Like It”, has characters that represent many forms of belonging. There is Touchstone, the court jester, who represents one of the attitudes prevalent at the time the play was written. He does not grasp the thought that anybody’s life could be different from his own. He comes from the Court, and his prejudices stem from the prerequisite attitudes of that level of society. Where as, Corin, a shepherd that has lived in the Forest of Arden his entire life, has an entirely different perspective from that of Touchstone. He believes in the simple life, that he belongs and is connected to his land and sheep, but neither to the people nor their requirements in his surrounds. This contrast of attitudes highlights that with the change of environment, comes a change in attitude towards other people and their own environments and therefore demonstrates an altered perspective.

Who should be able to assume the role of determining if someone else “fits in”, the concept of belonging should be...