THE DRAMATIC CONDUCT OF THE PLAY: THE WRESTLING MATCH
How much of the situation existing in the play comes out in Act I. i.?
And what action takes place?
The strained relation existing between the brothers Orlando and Oliver
is revealed through Orlando's conversation with Adam and with his
brother Oliver. The situation at court is also revealed through the
conversation of Oliver with the wrestler Charles, and also the loving
relation existing between Celia and Rosalind; thus we are at once put
into the possession of three emotional or passional causes for
action--Oliver's hatred of his younger brother, the younger Duke's
hatred of his older brother, and the love of Celia for Rosalind. Of
these causes for action only one bears any fruit in this scene,
namely, Oliver arranges with the wrestler to kill Orlando. What are
the connections existing between sc. ii. and sc. i.? First there is a
picture of the loving relationship existing between Rosalind and Celia
(already mentioned by Oliver in sc. i.) which reveals very subtly
differences in their natures. The action set going by Oliver in sc. i.
is consummated in the wrestling match, but with a result different
from that hoped for by Oliver, thus leaving Oliver's hatred still
present as a cause of action. Out of the wrestling match what further
passional and emotional causes of action are set up? Duke Frederick's
hatred for Orlando is aroused because he learns he is the son of a man
he had considered his enemy, and action against him is the immediate
result. Orlando is warned by Le Beau that he is not safe at the court.
The Duke's hatred of his brother bears further fruit in its extension
to Rosalind. The meeting of Rosalind and Orlando brought about by the
wrestling match gives rise to a fresh emotional force in their budding
love for each other. In Sc. iii., the state of Rosalind's heart as to
Orlando, hinted at in sc. ii., is fully revealed; the Duke's hatred
takes shape in his sentence of banishment or death, giving rise to a
new direction for action, and the emotion of Celia's love for Rosalind
bears fruit in her determination to go with Rosalind into banishment.