Pastoral vs Courtly life in “As you Like it”


How has Shakespeare drawn contrast between pastoral and courtly life in his play “As You Like It?”


One important difference that Shakespeare depicts between pastoral and courtly life is actually its central theme, which conveys that country life lacks corruption while courtly life is full of corruption.
In his first speech, Duke Senior and his courtiers make this claim, despite the severity of winter. Duke asserts that pastoral life is better than courtly life as it has “nothing artificial,” and courtly life has “artificial ceremony” and “painted pomp.” Furthermore, Amiens also praises pastoral life for lacking “man’s ingratitude” and fake friendship while mentioning the harshness of winter too.
Hence, Shakespeare conveys that pastoral life does not have corruption naturally; however, he also affirms that any life having man could not be free of corruption.