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1/12/2019

The character of Jaques (As You Like It)

6.  What is the role of Jaques in As You Like It.      Ans.  The most outstanding traits of the character of Jaques are his melancholy and his cynicism. His role in the play is that of an observer of persons and happenings, and also that of critic, commentator, and censor of people’s vices and follies. He does not play any part in the action of the drama but his absence would certainly diminish the philosophical and moral value of the play. Jaques is by nature a melancholy man. He describes the nature of his melancholy to Celia in the following way: “I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyers, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s which is all these.” His melancholy is of his own composed of many ingredients extracted from observation and experiences during his travels.    Jaques has a cynical outlook on life. His habit is to dwell upon the negative side of life. He is averse to looking at the bright side of life. In his famous speech where he divides man’s life into seven parts, he describes only the negative side of life. He describes child as mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms; but he made no reference to child’s angelic quality. The schoolboy is going to school unwillingly; but no mention is made of the school boy’s zest for extracurricular activities. The lover is sighing like a furnace and writing a sad poem in praise of his mistress’s beauty, but the ecstasy of love finds no place in this speech. And so on.    Jaques is given too much moralizing. Seeing a wounded and weeping stag. Jaques compared it to the worldly people who, by their wills, leave their wealth to persons already having too much, and who thus behave in the same way as the stag who is pouring his tears into a stream which is already full of water.    Thus Jaques plays an important role in As You Like It.


  The most outstanding traits of the character of Jaques are his melancholy and his cynicism. His role in the play is that of an observer of persons and happenings, and also that of critic, commentator, and censor of people’s vices and follies. He does not play any part in the action of the drama but his absence would certainly diminish the philosophical and moral value of the play. Jaques is by nature a melancholy man. He describes the nature of his melancholy to Celia in the following way: “I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyers, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s which is all these.” His melancholy is of his own composed of many ingredients extracted from observation and experiences during his travels.

Jaques has a cynical outlook on life. His habit is to dwell upon the negative side of life. He is averse to looking at the bright side of life. In his famous speech where he divides man’s life into seven parts, he describes only the negative side of life. He describes child as mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms; but he made no reference to child’s angelic quality. The schoolboy is going to school unwillingly; but no mention is made of the school boy’s zest for extracurricular activities. The lover is sighing like a furnace and writing a sad poem in praise of his mistress’s beauty, but the ecstasy of love finds no place in this speech. And so on.

Jaques is given too much moralizing. Seeing a wounded and weeping stag. Jaques compared it to the worldly people who, by their wills, leave their wealth to persons already having too much, and who thus behave in the same way as the stag who is pouring his tears into a stream which is already full of water.

Thus Jaques plays an important role in As You Like It.

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