Theme of Forgiveness in As You Like It

As You Like It begins in an atmosphere of conflicts. Oliver is a villainous brother who hates Orlando and wants to get him killed. Frederick has banished his own brother, the lawful Duke into the Forest of Arden.

By the time the play ends, we come to see that all these conflicts have been settled gracefully and this is where the theme of forgiveness comes in.

Orlando is furious by the treatment of Oliver towards him who has taken away all his rights for a better life. He doesn’t even provide him any training proper to his class and position.

Once Orlando surprises everyone by defeating the famous wrestler Charles, Oliver decides to kill him but the old servant saves him and they go into the forest of Arden where the banished Duke Senior lives from before.

The plot develops and the romance in a pastoral world keeps happening and one day Oliver comes into the forest and gets confronted by a lioness. Orlando arrives there and saves him.

He overlooks the fact that he is the same brother who wanted to kill him. He forgives him and saves him selflessly. It shows us the nature of brotherly love and the way one forgives others’ mistakes as grave as an attempt to murder.

Meanwhile, Frederick realizes the wrongful acts of banishing his brother from what actually belongs to him. He realizes the vanity and falseness of courtly life and gives up everything back to Duke Senior.

Duke Senior forgives him and gains his dukedom back. It is only due to the possibility of forgiveness that the play becomes a happy play, full of pleasant endings.

Oliver could marry Celia because of this only. Rosalind gets the blessings of her father. The play shows how everything finds the proper way back to its proper place only because of this human capacity of forgiveness.