Sederi 33 — 2023
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Isabel Guerrero Llorente
David J. Amelang
Marguerite Tassi, “Pursuing contentment and liberation in the Forest of Arden: Hindu and Buddhist resonances in As You Like It.” SEDERI 33 (2023): 57–80.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2023.3 Download PDF
This essay approaches Shakespeare’s As You Like It through the ancient wisdom traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Focusing on a number of influential classic Indian texts, this study considers how distinctive features of Eastern spirituality resonate with Shakespeare’s depiction of the Forest of Arden as a refuge where contentment can be fostered and liberation pursued as life’s ultimate goal. Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy dramatizes how virtues that lead to liberation are facilitated within the eco-religious space of Arden where the threefold Hindu concept of world forest is embodied. Such an ecumenical approach invites readers to contemplate what wisdom traditions beyond the Abrahamic religions can contribute to Shakespeare’s religious afterlives.
Keywords: As You Like It, Buddhism, contentment, Hinduism, liberation, refuge, Shakespeare.
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