Adam: Character Analysis in As You Like It

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      Adam is the type of the loyal and devoted servants. He has spent almost whole of his life in faithful service under a noble master. He is a relic of the ancient feudal times when service sweet for duty, not for meed.

      Adam is an aged servant of the de Boys household. Adam bolsters Orlando's claim to having the strongest ties to his father by calling Orlando a "memory of old sir Rowland and by accompanying him in exile, going so far as to offer his life's savings to ensure the young man's survival.

      Adam has always been devoted to his dead master Sir Rowland de Boys. When the brothers quarrel Adam tries to make peace between them, and appeals to their father’s memory,

‘Street masters, be patient: for your father's remembrance, be at accord.’

      Adam is spumed and driven away by Oliver, whose behavior he contrasts with that of his father,

Oliver “Get you with him, you old dog—
Adam “Is old dog, my reward.

      Adam love is transferred to Orlando whom he addresses as his young master,

O my sweet master, O You memory of old Sir Rolland
He sacrifices savings of a life time to Orlando
Here is the gold
All this I give you

      Again the memory of his old master recurs to his mind when he thinks of his age and makes light of his sacrifice;

Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Then to die will and not my master’s debtor

      Though he over-rated his own strength and powers of endurance, he did not overestimate his kindness.

      There are two points of special interest in connection with the character of this ‘good old man’. The first is the tradition which has been handed down from the 18th century that Shakespeare himself performed this part, and the other point of interest is that Adam was probably present in the thoughts of Sir Water Scott when he traced the character of Caleb Balderstone in the Bride of Lammermoor.

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