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notes on Hymen in As You Like It

notes on Hymen in As You Like It - Hymen not really...

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Hymen- not really pastoral, but he brings the peace at the culmination of the play in that he restores order in love, with the poorly coupled pairs finding their righteous matches; and in politics, as Jaques de Boys comes to announce that Duke Frederick had renounced his evils and become a religious man- returning the lands to his banished brother. This saves both Oliver and Duke Senior from punishment or further exile. Artifice- we don't know anything about the villains, either Oliver or Duke Frederick. Hymen there to make it more realistic, less of a comedy maybe? Less pastoral, more courtly? Maybe to rejoin the two worlds before they return to the court life? Hymen's musical arrival marks the climax of play. He acts as a servant to Rosalind, explaining nothing of her mysterious appearance to her father and betrothed, but presenting and endorsing her and asking them to receive her. The Duke and Orlando were shocked to see her- the Duke because his daughter had materialized when he had thought her to be at court, and Orlando because the lofty and cryptic promises of the supposed young Ganymede were made true. The arrival of the god Hymen causes the
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