A Pre Oedipul Paper of as You like It
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n these lines we see how Orlando saves his brother from a snake and a lioness. This is basically what leads to their reconciliation. On the surface this seems fairly simple, but by using a pre-oedipal reading on this passage Ill make it a bit more complex. I will try to show that this passage depicts Olivers liberation from his mother. I will also point out how Oliver is unable to achieve this liberation himself, and how he needs to be helped by his brother Orlando.

Already in line 106 we get a glimpse of Olivers problem: “A wretched ragged man, oergrown with hair,” He is unknown and unrecognisable, even to his own brother. You can see that he is an adult person by his hair (beard), but he has not got an identity as a man. Oliver suffers from the same problem as Orlando had before he met Duke Senior, in the respect that he does not have a father-figure to identify with. Rowland de Boys, who was his biological father, is dead. His only substitute, Duke Frederick, has threatened to take his estates from him, and thereby denying him his identity.

A snake is crawling towards Olivers mouth. If we take a closer look at this snake in a pre-oedipal context it is fairly obvious that it is a phallic symbol. As I said it is moving towards Olivers mouth. If we regard the snake as a symbol of a penis, the vagina is represented by Olivers mouth. On that basis, we can claim that Oliver is about to be “penetrated” and violated. We also witness a reversal of gender roles as we notice that the snake is female. This might represent Olivers (or indeed, mens) fears of being effeminated.

Whats more, Oliver is sleeping. In other words he is not fully aware of the situation he is in. He is also defenceless. He therefore needs someone to enlighten him and to save him. This is where Orlando comes in. He is now a representative of

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Olivers Liberation And Only Substitute. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/olivers-liberation-and-only-substitute-essay/