Wyatt Roberts

Mr. Chase

Shakespeare Studies


The Gentleman Orlando

Due to the large collection of plays that he wrote, Shakespeare had many virtuous characters that he created. Some of his plays had many of these righteous characters, and others had only one. These people all worked for the good of all, and lived by a large list of ethical principles. The most virtuous character is Orlando, from As You Like It because his acts show he has tolerance, love, and a sense of justice.. Orlando is the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois. His sense of justice compelled him to try to reclaim his share of the family’s riches, but his love for his hateful brother kept Orlando from killing him. When Orlando was wanting to court Rosalind, and she decided to tease him and act like she was falling in and out of love with him, he let her do her thing and played along with her. He never got mad at her. These acts show he has tolerance, love, and a sense of justice.

Orlando’s tolerance shows throughout the play. He tolerated that he was in the same family as his evil brother and took his old servant with him even though it meant more work for him. Another very good example of his tolerance is when he decided to woo Rosalind. There were often times when she treated him poorly for her own entertainment. She would yell at him, call him names, say he is not worthy, but he still loved her. Such as the time Orlando showed up late to meet her and she said,”Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I had as lief be wooed of a snail.” He tolerated these things in the hope of winning her true love someday.

Orlando is the most loving person in the play, he cares about everyone. When Orlando first appears in the play it is as a fighter and trouble maker because of the fight he had with his brother. As the play goes forward, one sees that Orlando is the most loving character in the play. His brother keeps him from wealth, yet he still loves and cares for him. He even threw himself in front of a charging lion in order to save his brothers life. The old servant of his late father, asks to be his servant when he leaves the Duke’s house. Orlando became so attached to Adam that he threatened to kill in order to keep him alive when Adam was about to give out. This was not the only time his love drove him to do slightly irrational things. He put up with the insults and abuse of Rosalind because he loved her from first sight. He could have easily found a lady that would treat him nicely but he loved her too much to let her go.

Orlando has a strong sense of justice, he knew he should have part of his father’s wealth, and is set on trying to get it. He is willing to fight his brother for it, but not to the death. He saw how his brother treated old Adam, and felt it was not right and that he should hire him. When Adam was starving and tired, Orlando thought it was fit that no one eats till Adam ate.

Orlando is the most virtuous character in the play. His tolerance makes him a friend that will stick by you even if you insult him. His love makes him a great companion, and on occasions a funny one. His sense of justice makes him a good judge, because he will see you for what you are.