Shakespeare's Forest of Arden furnishes the setting against which most of the action unfolds, but it serves as much more than a mere backdrop. The greenwood assumes symbolic stature. First of all, it is an "idyllic forest." The words used by Charles to describe Duke Senior's life in the forest suggest an idyllic existence, and in the famous pastoral romances of Shakespeare's day, a world is created in which shepherds and shepherdesses sing, pipe tunes, and make love while their flocks graze carelessly in green valleys bright with the sunshine of eternal summer. This golden world, needless to say, has little relation to the actualities of country living in any age, yet it is the artist's fulfillment of the universal longing to flee burdensome realities and find quietude and peace. In Shakespeare's time, no less than in ours, people felt the need for just such an escape. This idyllic concept of Arden
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.