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Word Count: 613
The Comparison of Forest of Arden versus Forest of Eden It is the innate desire of man to seek a place of freedom an utopia which allows him to escape into fantasies and away from the hardships of reality In the play As you like it by William Shakespeare the playwright indirectly compares the Forest of Arden to the Forest of Eden by exploring the theme of illusions the idea of the forest as a place of refuge and Ardens mystical powers The two forests are not only related by the fact that they sound similar but the many imageries and ideas that were mentioned in the play are somewhat related to the story of Genesis In Duke Seniors first speech he refers to the penalty of Adam reminding the reader of the Fall of Man and the Garden of Eden Therefore from the start Arden is associated with a world of innocence and simplicity in which man did not need to work In the forest of Eden the life of man is not controlled by time and ultimately death Whereas there are also suggestions of timelessness in the forest of Arden as when Orlando points out that there is no clock in the forest According to geographic sources the Forest of Arden is in the Ardennes France In the play Duke Senior and his followers live in the forest itself while the shepherds live in the more open country on the edge of the forest However some elements in the play can be found in neither France nor England For example the deer the oak trees palm-trees and also exotic animals such as a green-and-golden and a lioness roam the forest Clearly then the landscape belongs to the realm of fantasy Although Arden seems as to be an idealistic world and resembles no known place it is not merely an escape from real life It is true
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