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Unformatted text preview: Shakespeare's themes are often expressed in terms of oppositions, such as the conflicting values associated with fair and foul in Macbeth. As You Like It is no exception. Running throughout As You Like It is a tension of antithesis between the natural (that which is free, spontaneous, and wholesome) and the artificial (that which is constrained, calculated, and unnatural). The clash between these two ways of life is seen on several levels: (1) social: in the values associated with civilized society (the court or a great country estate) compared with the value of simple living (the open pastures and the forest encampment); (2) familial: in the strife that sets brother against brother and parent against child; and (3) personal: in the contrast between courtships that are based upon genuine emotion (Orlando and Rosalind) and those that are based on formal conventions (Silvius...
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