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Word Count: 1,266
As in many of Shakespeares comedies the plot of As You Like It concerns lovers and revolves around the overcoming of the obstacles to their love After Act One we have seen that Rosalind and Orlando are the central lovers of the play and that Oliver and the Duke are the main impediments As well as the theme of love in Act One we see Shakespeare establishing the themes of jealousy and court versus country Strong characterisation is essential to the vitality of the plot In Act One we are introduced to a varied array of characters Rosalind Celia and Touchstone are witty and perceptive Orlando is passionate and noble and the Duke and Oliver are villainous and jealous The play begins in a curious if not clumsy manner with Orlandos words As I remember Adam it was upon this fashion followed by a description of Orlandos background Here we see Shakespeare grown so confident in his writing that he does not attempt to convey the background of the play in a subtle manner Instead we are treated as efficiently and quickly as possible to the background information so that the important themes retain the focus Indeed we learn a great deal from Orlandos opening speech he is unkept by his brother - denied the education appropriate to his noble birth and will no longer endure his servitude His declaration immediately establishes tension When Orlando comes face to face with his brother the encounter is violent and stirs up hatred in Oliver As a result Oliver arranges to have Orlando killed by the wrestler Charles Id have as lief thy break his neck We are therefore made aware that Oliver will be an obstruction to any love affair involving Orlando Another obstacle to the would-be love affair between Orlando and Rosalind is the Duke who looks unfavourably upon both We see his dislike of Orlando after the wrestling match with
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