The Forest of Arden : It's importance in the play "As You Like It".

  The atmosphere of As You Like It is rural and pastoral Early in the play we find that the atmosphere of the court and the city is vitiated by jealousies, rivalries and antagonisms. But the atmosphere of the forest of Arden is entirely different. In the forest Duke Senior realizes that the uses of adversity are sweet. He finds the life of the forest to be. more acceptable than the life of the court.

The atmosphere of the forest of Arden becomes changed with romance. Here in the forest of Arden, Rosalind, being disguised as Ganymede feels no shame even inviting Orlando to woo her. Now Orlando is free to write verses to express the ardour of his passion.

The romantic quality of the forest of Arden is heightened by the presence of pastoral characters --- Corin, Silvius and Phebe. Corin is an old shepherd; Silvius is a young shepherd. and Phebe is young but she does not respond to his love. On the other hand Silvius falls in love with handsome Ganymede without knowing that Ganymede is actually a woman.

The atmosphere of the forest of Arden is full of wit and humour. The fertility of the wit of Celia, and more especially of Rosalind, becomes most evident here. The real quality of Rosalind’s wit is to be found in her conversation with Orlando. Being disguised as a man, Rosalind can talk freely; and so she says to her lover: “Come woo me, for now I am in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent”.

The forest of Arden has its share in bringing about two notable transformations. Oliver is transformed from a wicked man into a noble minded man, so that he now becomes worthy of the love of charming Celia. A similar transformation is experienced by Duke Frederick who had come to the forest with an armed force to put an end to the life of Duke Senior but who having met a saintly kind of man in the forest, falls under his spell to such an extent that he gives up the worldly life and he is converted from a life of villainy to a religious life.

Thus the forest of Arden in As You Like It is very important. It plays very significant role to develop the theme of the play.

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