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John thrust his brother into prison. But the second brother stood surety for Gamelyn's appearance next court-day, when the outlaws appeared in a band, and hanged judge, sheriff, and jury. For this, the King made Gamelyn Chief Justice, and he lived in health and wealth for many years. It will be seen that Lodge completely altered the second half of this story, from the wrestling-match onwards, adding the characters of Rosalynde, Alinda (Celia), Gerismond (Duke Senior), Torismond (Duke Frederick), and the shepherds Phoebe, Montanus (Silvius), and Coridon (Corin). In addition, he gives the whole story a completely different atmosphere by providing the background of pastoral incident. It may be that he was indebted to some Italian novel for the love-story; if so, the novel is not extant.
The extracts on pp. xxiii et seq. will show how closely Shakespeare follows Lodge for the main incidents of the story. The following deviations, suppressions, and additions call, however, for notice. Rosader in the novel is left, not with "poor a thousand crowns," but with a fair share, sixteen ploughlands, of his father's estate, to Saladyne's fourteen and the manorhouses. As a sort of foreshadowing of Oliver's regeneration, Shakespeare suppresses the detail of Saladyne's confiscation of his younger brother's estate, using merely the idea of Rosader's mean up-bringing. The brawl which follows the quarrel of the brothers (Rosalynde, post, p. xxiii) is compressed by Shakespeare to a simple clutch of the throat (As You Like It, I. i. 50). For dramatic reasons, the old enmity of Duke Frederick and Sir Rowland de Boys (As You Like It, I. ii. 212) is invented to account for Orlando's dismissal from the neighbourhood of Rosalind. Further, to compress the action, Orlando's flight is made coincident with that of Rosalind and Celia, while in the novel some long time elapses between Rosader's wrestlingmatch and his flight to Arden. Shakespeare makes no use of the attack of a band of robbers on Alinda, and Saladyne's rescue of her and Rosader, whom they had wounded; in the play, Orlando's wound is caused by the lioness. Finally, the close is given a completely different turn in the play. Lodge interrupts the marriage-banquet with the arrival of Fernandyne, the third brother, with news that a French army had taken up the rightful Duke's (Gerismond's) cause, and was about to join
battle with Torismond, the usurper.
Torismond is defeated
and slain by the combined army of Gerismond and the twelve peers of France, and Rosader is made heir-apparent.
Shakespeare's greatest modifications are, however, in the characters. The Rosalind of Lodge's novel is in the main a colourless pastoral heroine of the conventional typè, and her love-making is carried on in a key of rather dreary euphuism, or by means of "wooing-eclogues" after the manner of a sonnet series, or singing-match. She has neither Rosalind's capacity for flashing repartee or half-taunting jest, nor her bitterness in the disillusionment of Phebe's infatuated affection. Yet there are hints, even in Rosalynde, of something more breathing and life-like. Thus, after she and Aliena discover the passion of Montanus carved on the tree, their conversation has something of the same keenness as that of Rosalind and Celia. "You may see (quoth Ganimede) what mad cattell you women be, whose hearts sometimes are made of Adamant that will touch with no impression; and sometime of waxe that is fit for everie forme: they delight to be courted, and then they glorie to seeme coy; and when they are most desired then they freese with disdaine: . . . If man had grown from man, as Adam did from the earth, men had never been troubled with inconstancie. Leave off (quoth Aliena) to taunt thus bitterly, or els Ile pul off your pages apparell and whip you (as Venus doth her wantons) with nettles.
Shakespeare paints Rosalind and Celia as contrasting portraits, emphasising differences that Lodge but touches upon. Celia is the practical member of the trio in flight; it is she who suggests Arden as their refuge, she who persuades Touchstone to accompany them (though the original suggestion is Rosalind's), she who provides the money for the sheep farm. Her love affair is scarcely touched upon, and its sudden consummation is a perfect foil to the delays of Rosalind's. Orlando, further, is an improved Rosader. We may contrast his tongue-tied embarrassment after Rosalind's gracious words and gift (As You Like It, I. ii.) with Rosader's self-possession, which is complete enough for him to retire to a tent and indite a "fancy" like a true sonneteer (post, p. xxviii). In the forest with Adam Spencer, Rosader is the one to bewail his fate, while the old man is the comforter, thus reversing the
parts of Orlando and Adam. Both Rosader and Orlando delay a while in helping their brother from the lion; but Orlando's hesitation is due to a not unnatural but sudden gust of resentment (As You Like It, IV. iii.), while Rosader in a long speech weighs the advantage of Saladyne's death, and reasons that their combined estates would make him more attractive in Rosalynde's eyes (post, p. xxxiii). There is no use made by Shakespeare of this idea. In one respect the play falls short of the novel. As Mr. Swinburne says, "the one unlucky slip of the brush" is the betrothal of Oliver and Celia. But Lodge has justified this in the corresponding persons of the novel by his introduction of the incident where Saladyne rescues Alinda and Rosader from the forest robbers. He thus expiates his ill-treatment of Rosader, and becomes, through this display of courage, attractive to Alinda.
Shakespeare's two greatest additions to the characters are Touchstone and Jaques, to neither of whom do we find counterparts in Lodge. Touchstone is perhaps the most complex of Shakespeare's purely comic characters. In delineating him, the author, whether through haste, as Wright suggests, or consciously, has wrought a considerable change in his character. Before we meet him, we hear of him as a "natural," his wit is described as the "dulness of the fool"; Rosalind refers to him as "the clownish fool"; one of the usurping Duke's lords, "the roynish clown." But in Arden he becomes transformed, possibly through the "wood-change" that affects all courtly wanderers in its shade. Thus his earlier rôle of family-fool, dependent for his place upon his powers to raise an idle laugh, merges into that of the keen dissector of insincerity. We find, incongruous though the idea may be, that his youth was one of courtly upbringing; he has had many of the often-desired and often-described attributes of the pattern courtier, treading a measure, flattering a lady, undoing three tailors. But occasionally he appears in both rôles, for it is often hard to say where buffoonery merges into courtly cynicism; his grotesque courtship is itself a piece of broad parody of pastoral love-making. To some degree, despite his marriage, Touchstone stands outside the carefully symmetrical arrangement of characters in the play; he has a roving com
mission of parody, of reduction to strict common sense of the strained attitudes and affectations of many of the strangelyplaced personages. His commendation of court-life and his damnation of Corin are the answer to the Duke's eulogy of life in the woods; he ridicules the pretentious code of honour which governs the duel, and produces verses, better as a parody than Orlando's are in their own vein. His wit consists mainly in a bald and grotesque statement of the opposite point of view, in a stripping of externals and inessentials; his comments are the true touchstone of the false positions into which many of his companions in the play had argued themselves or drifted.
Jaques is a full-length portrait of a figure that Shakespeare had often sketched in outline-the somewhat blasé man of the world, the courtier who has seen court folly and been soured by it. He is the Italianate Englishman whose attitude is well summed up by Rosalind-"look you lisp and wear strange suits, disable all the benefits of your own country, be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are, or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola" (IV. i.). On a higher plane, his function is that of Touchstone, but he carries it out more thoroughly by means of bitter railing against the idyllic situations of the story. He finds in the love of Orlando for Rosalind no support for his cynic's attitude; Audrey and Touchstone fit in much better with his conception of human constancy, and he helps on the match with gusto. But his cynicism appears often as a pose, an excuse for moralising upon the vanity of things, a peg on which to hang cynical sermons that one is inclined occasionally to think he does not himself believe. He has little or nothing to do with the action; he is merely a contemplative and disillusioning commentator on the actions of others. But Jaques is, after all, more than this; he is the character of certain tragic possibilities undeveloped that at this stage of Shakespeare's production is creeping into the plays. The grounds of his disillusionment with life are but hinted at, and have no bearing upon the action of the play; he passes out of ken into the house of convertites. Don John, Antonio, Brutus, and Jaques, and especially the latter two, are intermediate stages, or perhaps one might better say, by-products, in the process of Shakespeare's evolving the character of Hamlet.
How quickly the conception developed is seen on a comparison of the dates of Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Cæsar, and As You Like It, with that of the First Quarto of Hamlet (entered 26 July, 1602). But in the interval between the earliest of these comedies and Hamlet, melancholy and a morbid view of humanity have become, instead of potentially tragic excrescences upon a comic theme, the very mainsprings of tragic action, and elements in the essentially tragic inward conflict. To Jaques also "this brave o'erhanging firmament" is no other thing than "a foul and pestilential congregation of vapours"; "the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals" is but "quintessence of dust." But in Hamlet, melancholy has become dramatic; it is mainly a product of his murdered father's revelation, it conditions the tragic action throughout, and in the end it produces the tragic climax.
William and Audrey are further additions of Shakespeare to Lodge's characters, and preserve the balance in their contrast to Silvius and Phebe. These Warwickshire yokels are the instruments of Shakespeare's gentle protest against the artificiality of the pastoral comedy of his age, just as the petitions of Silvius and the cutting replies of Phebe are gentle parody of the language of pastoral love.
The world of Arden is the background of several comedies of love, the central one being that of Rosalind and Orlando, for Ganymede's rôle of the supposititious Rosalind is but a thin device which deceives Orlando, but is transparent enough to a reader. One may easily imagine that Rosalind undisguised would have talked and acted much the same towards Orlando as does Ganymede. With Beatrice, Rosalind is perhaps Shakespeare's most perfect portrait of the high-born, cultured, witty court-lady who nevertheless loses nothing of womanly charm and tenderness. Love comes to her in a single stride; she capitulates without terms, yet such is the perfect balance of her nature, that throughout the play her love-making is in entire keeping with her princely position. Dignified, consistently the high lady, she has nevertheless the essential womanliness to regard Phebe's scorn of Silvius with equal scorn, and sufficient spirit to express that scorn in no guarded terms. Her playful wit can be caustic enough on occasion, though never rankling; her wordiness-both Celia and Orlando sometimes strive, un