Anyway, I came across this amazing little video - it is a sort of preview of As You Like It done to the "All The World's A Stage/Seven Ages of Man" speech. Give it a try, it is really phenomenal.
Warning: spoiler alert, if you don't know the story of As You Like It and want to be surprised, don't read past this part.
Now, back to my Duck Frederick problem. Maybe you can help me with it?
Why does he do what he does?
What do we know about him?
Duke Frederick is younger brother to Duke Senior (great name Shakespeare ;-)
Both Dukes only have one daughter and their wives and not mentioned
"...the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke..."
In act1, scene 2 Duke Frederick is introduced to Orlando after Orlando wins a wrestling match. The Duke is disappointed when he learns who Orlando is the son of:
DUKE FREDERICK I would thou hadst been son to some man else: The world esteem'd thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy: Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed, Hadst thou descended from another house. But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth: I would thou hadst told me of another father.
Then Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind because "...her smoothness, Her very silence and her patience Speak to the people, and they pity her." Rosalind, Celia (Duke Frederick's daughter) and the court jester, Touchstone, run off together to the forest of Arden where the banished Duke (Rosalind's father) lives. Orlando realizes his brother wants to kill him (about the same time) and also runs off, which makes Duke Frederick believe that they ran off together. Duke Frederick is grieved that his daughter has run away and wants her back. "Can it be possible that no man saw them?...And let not search and inquisition quail To bring again these foolish runaways."
In act 3, scene 1 Duke Frederick has Oliver (Orlando's oldest brother) brought in and interrogates him. Oliver protests:
OLIVER O that your highness knew my heart in this! I never loved my brother in my life.
To which Duke Frederick replies "More villain thou." What would make him reply that way? Does he still love the brother that he banished? Did he love him, perhaps even admire him as a boy and did something happen to turn him against his brother or did he feel that his brother shouldn't rule and so he took over his brother's dukedom?
We don't see Duke Frederick again after that. All we find out about him (in act 5, scene 4) is this:
JAQUES DE BOYS Let me have audience for a word or two: I am the second son of old Sir Rowland, That bring these tidings to this fair assembly. Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day Men of great worth resorted to this forest, Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot, In his own conduct, purposely to take His brother here and put him to the sword: And to the skirts of this wild wood he came; Where meeting with an old religious man, After some question with him, was converted Both from his enterprise and from the world, His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother, And all their lands restored to them again That were with him exiled. This to be true, I do engage my life.
So, Why? Why is he so jealous of his brother? Or is it - why is he so jealous of people who are more popular than him? I will need to think on it. Is it just that his brother was always more popular than him? that Frederick was always in his brother's shadow? That his brother got most of the love, time and money from their parents and Frederick never got enough? Or is it more complex than that?
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