As You Like It


William Shakespeare

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Country vs. City Theme Analysis

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Themes and Colors
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in As You Like It, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Country vs. City Theme Icon

All the characters, at some point in the play, leave the royal court for the Forest of Arden. This mass exodus results from various characters being forced into exile (Duke Senior, Orlando, Rosalind), and then various others voluntarily joining them (the Lords, Adam, Celia). The forest thus serves as the theater of the play. A space in which time and conduct are relaxed, it is a setting that allows for things to happen and people to act in ways that they wouldn’t within the bounds of mannered city life: royalty and shepherds comingle (Rosalind and Celia interact with Silvius, Phebe, and Corin; Touchstone marries Audrey), the former pose as the latter (Rosalind and Celia dress themselves as people of the forest), and Cupid’s presence is potent (romance is sparked, vows are said). To welcome the weddings at the end of the play, Duke Senior declares, “in this forest let us do those ends / That where were well begun and well begot.”

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Country vs. City Quotes in As You Like It

Below you will find the important quotes in As You Like It related to the theme of Country vs. City.
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

Let’s away and get our jewels and our wealth together, devise the fittest time and safest way to hide us from pursuit that will be made after my flight. Now we go in content to liberty, and not to banishment.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Rosalind
Page Number: 1.3.140-145
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

Are not these woods more free from peril than the envious court? Here feel we not the penalty of Adam.

Related Characters: Duke Senior (speaker)
Page Number: 2.2.3-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

Poor old man, thou prun’st a rotten tree that cannot so much as a blossom yield in lieu of all thy pains and husbandry. But come thy ways, we’ll go along together.

Related Characters: Orlando (speaker), Adam
Page Number: 2.3.64-67
Explanation and Analysis: