As You Like It as A Play of Pastoral Comedy

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      The world Pastoral comedy ostensibly refers to the life of the rural folk and their ways of living, manners, and customs. Thus the word 'Pastoral' come to identify an ideal space representing innocence, peace, philosophical idea. It is also a place of beauty peculiarly suited for love and lovers and the creation of poetry. A Pastoral work of art is that type of literary work which deals with the life of Shepherd Shepherdess and other country folks, who lives in the lap of nature. Pastoral romances were highly popular in the Elizabethan age and in As You Like It William Shakespeare has followed the same tradition.

In As You Like It the main action takes place entirely in the natural atmosphere of the forest of Arden.
Forest of Arden

      Because the play is a Pastoral one, we have to consider the imaginary creation of the forest of Arden. He created that forest namely the forest of Arden to provide the sincere Pastoral taste of such a wonderful comedy. The harassed lovers troubled by kings Dukes and uncles often left the life of court in literary traditions, took refuge in the woods, where they spend their lives in the guide of Shepherds and Shepherdess wooing marriage each other.

      In As You Like It the main action takes place entirely in the natural atmosphere of the forest of Arden. Among with some beautiful natural surroundings which include beasts, birds, bees, snakes, hungry animals, and many others. We find many actors of the play, in the course of action come to take shelter in the bosom of the forest of Arden, for their self-enjoyment and also for necessity. In the entire play, almost all the major characters including Oliver, Orlando, Rosalind, Cilia, Touchstone, Jacques, two Dukes have taken shelter in the forest of Arden. All the major incidents also occurred in the ideal atmosphere of Arden. There is a full Restoration of all the complexities that happen in Arden, and all the characters finally get their due respect honor, and position on the natural blossom of the Pastoral. Orlando proves his love for Rosalind in the forest, Oliver gets Cilia as his mistress, both Rosalind and Cilia come out from their disguise, Duke senior got his last honor and position, Touchstone marriage Audrey, Silvius got engaged to Phebe, etc.

      The pastoral meeting of all major characters allows criticizing the court for its violence and perversion. This criticism is founded its root on the blunder that 'the banished lords are shepherds', this illusion in As You Like It breaks down toward us, when we realize that the so-called shepherds are courtiers of the court and they pretend to criticize. Though ostensibly the victims refer to the human beings living in the forest. It is a mark of Shakespeare's mature comedy that he consent to this criticism of his ideal world in the very centrum of it.

      All this central incidence has taken place not in the court not under the royal favor but in the ideal atmosphere of Pastoral. In this way, the creation of the forest of Arden proves the most significant part of the play, for which the comedy As You Like It can be called one of the most successful Pastoral comedy, ever produced in the British theatre.

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