pertaining to act 2, scene 1
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Duke Senior finds joy, happiness, and freedom within the Forest of Arden - that the “penalty of Adam” does not touch him there. It gives hope to the readers – which changes in circumstances, that evil done by intimates, can still transform into something more valuable. To be cliché, yet appropriate, as one door closes, another opens. William Thompson theorizes that “comedy is a play about freedom, a play in which evil is mastered” (218). Here is the first instance of comedic catharsis, of evil being faced head on and destroyed – it is the spiritual renewal of Duke Senior's soul after seemingly tragic events that would and does break other men.
Jaques on the other hand becomes melancholic when introduced to the realities of nature. Rather than finding joy, like Duke the Senior, he becomes morose and sorrowful. When introduced in Act 2, he's weeping over the slaughter of a deer.