A3 Model Answers

In Fall 2010, A3 had the same instructions, but was about a different text (As You Like It). Its three essay questions are below, followed by links to answers by three students who got very good marks on the assignment, and agreed to let their work serve as models.


  1. At the end of one song, Touchstone claims that “there was no great matter in the ditty” (5.3.38-39). Prove him wrong. Show that all five songs in this play have meanings that are significant to As You Like It‘s major themes. (They are in 2.5, 2.7, 4.2, 5.3, and 5.4.) Be explicit about your understanding of those themes, and of each song’s significance.
  2. “They say all lovers swear more performance than they are able,” says Cressida (Troilus and Cressida, 3.2.79-80). Is this true for the lovers in As You Like It? Are their vows and words a reliable sign of their love? In this respect, is there any difference between the vows of men and women?
  3. When Duke Senior calls his forest lords “brothers in exile,” it is one of only two times that the word “brother” (which appears forty-seven times in As You Like It) is used metaphorically rather than literally (2.1.1). Yet by promoting virtues like friendship, service, and generosity, the play proposes different kinds of metaphorical brotherhood and sisterhood as an alternative to its bad (literal) brothers, Oliver and Duke Frederick. Define and identify these metaphorical relationships, and discuss their function in the play.

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