Nov 4, 2019 in Literature

Romance Now and Then

The play “As you like it” by Shakespeare was written in the early 1600. The basic theme of the play is love. The heroine, Rosalind, is among the most inspiring characters in the play. Rosalind falls in love with Orlando, the disinherited son of Duke’s friend. She later switches genders after being banished from the court by her usurping uncle, Duke Frederick. Observations of life and love follow with new friends being made and families getting reunited. The play therefore mainly addresses the nature of love in 1600. The various behaviors shown by respective characters reflect the nature of love in 1600.  Today, as expected, some traits and nature of romance must have changed as compared the 1600 times while others remain unchanged. The aim of the paper is to outline the similarities and differences of romance in 1600 and today.

To begin with, the play presents romance as a disease that brings suffering and torment to the lover. Despite the fact that Rosalind is banished by the Duke, she does not cease loving Orlando. The romance torments Rosalind and she is ready to lose everything else for her love to Orlando. This shows the genuine nature of love in 1600. At some point, Orlando confines in Rosalind that his affections are overpowering him. This implies how the romance in 1600 had control over the individual’s thinking. On the other hand, today love has tom some point taken a different direction. For instance, the relationship between a parent and the daughter dictates their respective romantic relationships. Therefore, the today’s way of life is quite different in terms or romance. In most cases, the parent’s decision counts on who their daughter is to love.

In addition to that, it was possible to inherit one’s wife provided you can defeat them. This means that the man lover could easily take another man’s lover. In the play, Duke Frederick overthrows his elder brother and takes his wife. This means that the romantic relationship between the Senior Duke and his wife terminates after his brother takes over. This is inapplicable in the today’s society generally. The issue of wife inheritance is almost a non-issue as of now. Also, the act of a man taking his brother’s wife and having a romantic affair together is considered as a taboo today.  This is a significant change in romance as compared to the 1600 times. 

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The means of passing romantic communication is also a factor to consider. There are various means of passing love messages and generally romantic communication. Today, the means has greatly changed as compared to 1600 times although the effect is almost the same. In 1600, communication of love messages was through writings and manual delivery. For instance, Orlando hangs some love poems that he has written to Rosalind from the tree branches. Later on Rosalind finds the message. This way of passing romantic communications is considered archaic and irrelevant today. This is a significant difference between the 1600 times, way of expressing romance and today. For instance, with advanced technology and telecommunication, the way of passing such messages is merely through internet or some electronic gadgetry. 

Still on differences, during the 1600 times, literature was highly applied to express romance. Most lovers used poems and love songs to communicate their feelings towards the other party. For instance, Orlando chooses to communicate his romantic feelings to Rosalind through a poem. This implies that the reply he is expecting is also in the form of a poem or some love song. Today, the expression of romance is quite different. It is not common as such to find a situation where two lovers communicate through literature and songs. The current technology has generally summarized the communication thus no need of the tedious literature in communication.

On the other hand, there are various similarities in romance today and during 1600 times. These similarities are in both expression and treatment of romance. For instance, in 1600, there was a very close relationship between love and family. The romance had a very great impact on the family background of both lovers. In the play “As You Like It”, Rosalind’s love to Orlando greatly affects the life of Rosalind as well as that of Orlando. First, Rosalind is banished by Duke Frederick. This results to more family based issues. On the other hand, the Orlando’s love to Rosalind tries to bring him close to his brother Oliver. Today, a similar scenario is witnessed whereby a romantic affair between two lovers affects the respective families of each. The effect can either be positive or negative. 

Secondly, in both 1600 times and today, the man is taken as responsible for the affair. In most cases, it is men who shows the romantic interest and exercise it. In 1600 times and today, the male lover tries to dictate over the female one. For instance, in the play, Duke Frederick overthrows Duke senior and takes his wife. In addition to this, Orlando is struggling by all means to communicate some love sense to Rosalind. This shows that the initial efforts in romance are from the male character. In conjunction to this, the female character is considered humble and ready to accept. On the other hand, today the situation is nearly the same. The male individuals tend to undermine the females. The females also tend to be submissive to men. This shows great resemblance in romance in 1600 and today.

Romance sees to go hand in hand with forgiving. This is common both in 1600 times and today. The play “As You Like It” clarifies the relevance of forgiving on romance. This brings more unity in both the family of lovers and the lovers themselves. For instance, despite the differences, Orlando saves Oliver’s life. This brings about some forgiveness and hence unity. This unity results to the falling in love of Oliver with Celia. In addition to that, Duke Frederick retires as a Duke and becomes a hermit. This brings forgiveness between Duke Frederick and Duke senior. This contributes to the romantic relationships between their respective wives. Today, the same scenario is witnessed. Most lovers make it in life through continuous forgiveness and understanding. The interdependence between romantic relationships and forgiveness is therefore critical. For unity in families in 1600, forgiveness was employed. This still applies in the current society.

In conclusion, it is now clear that the level of romance in 1600 closely relates to that of today. There are however some various differences. The interference of the romantic affair by the respective parents in 1600 seems to have ceased today. The mode of communication of romance to the other partner also seems to have changed due to technological advancements favoring telecommunication.  The various similarities of the romance in 1600 and today include its general structure. The fact that the man always seems to have an upper hand in a romantic affair holds for both cases. The interference of a romantic relationship with the normal family structure is also common. Moreover, forgiveness serves as a stronghold of every romantic affair both in 1600 times and today.

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