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Word Count: 1,517
As You Like It is remarkable among Shakespeares plays for ending with four marriages something of a record even among comedies Love is a central theme of the play although in some of its variations it cannot quite be said to be romantic The love relationships may at first glance appear to be stock types Rosalind and Orlando representing romantic hero-heroine love Silvius and Phebe combining love in the lower classes with unrequited love Audrey and Touchstone a darker attempt to seduce and Celia and Oliver simple tying up of loose ends However Shakespeare makes the theme interesting not just through the sheer variety of relationships that he explores but also through the unusual elements he brings to each The Rosalind-Orlando relationship could be stock hero-heroine love but for the interest Shakespeare adds by way of Rosalinds luminous character and the humour of Orlando encountering and being attracted to Rosalind in her guise as a saucy lackey Ganymede The way in which they meet and fall in love is traditional -- Rosalind is won over by Orlandos manly labours and good looks at his wrestling match with Charles and performs her feminine office of mercy by trying to dissuade him from what appears to be such a disastrous venture It is true love at first sight another traditional feature of such a romance However a new dimension is added by Rosalinds disguise as Ganymede and her suggestion that Orlando pretend to court her Orlandos attraction to her in her boyish guise is unexpected and sets sends the audience into fits of laughter His gradual progression from a brusque retort to Ganymedes cheeky question I pray you what ist oclock to interest as indicated by his questions about who time trots ambles and gallops with to attraction as can be seen by his addressing Ganymede as pretty youthand sentences laden with innuendo such as Fair youth I would I could make thee believe I love
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