Orlando is the dominating, pleasing and charming character of the great romantic comedy, “As You Like It”. Shakespeare has bestowed on Orlando all the solid graces of his past. He is young, manly, gentle and generous. Orlando occupies a prominent place among the heroes of Shakespeare’s dramatic art. Among his chief comedies he is the most towering and interesting of all the heroes. He rises much above Antonio, the hero of The Merchant Of Venice and Duke Orsino the hero of ‘Twelfth Night’. Leaving aside the great tragic heroes, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Brutus, Orlando’s character skies above other characters. Orlando is the key figure of the main and subplot.

Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland De Boys. His life became hard and difficult after the death of his father. His brother Oliver was envious of his noble nature and burgeoning popularity. Orlando did not attend in any school because Oliver did not like to give him education. But then Orlando without getting any education had all the intrinsic qualities of an educated man. The reason was his noble and magnanimous nature. He was riding on the wave of popularity. He did not harbour any ill-will against his brother Oliver. Who was all the time cooking plans to end his life. Oliver sent him to the court of Duke Frederick to accept the challenge of a notated giant wrestler.

Orlando was brave, courageous and fearless. No threat, no challenge could cow him down. He readily accepted the challenge and much to the un-expectation of the audience. He defeated the giant wrestler, Charles. Orlando feat in the wrestling match, won the heart and admiration of Rosalind and Duke Frederick was also flushed with joy to see the tremendous performance of the young man. But the moment he came to know that he was the son of Sir Rowland De Boys, his appreciations turned into hatred. But in the other hand this revelation generated fathomless love in Rosalind’s heart. Oliver did not let up his evil design to eliminate Orlando. He made another plan to kill Orlando. This evil design of Oliver was revealed by Adam, the most trusted servant.

Orlando came to the forest of Arden with Adam. Orlando was in deep love with Rosalind. He saw her watching wrestling match and instantly fell in love with her. Orlando’s bravery and fearlessness are undoubtedly the precious qualities of his character. But as a sincere lover he is admired and adored in every generation. There is a much poise in Orlando’s dynamic character. His love is pure, honest and spontaneous. His love is  unchangeable and he cannot alter even if he finds alteration. Not ever the tempest can shake his love. His heart is surfeit with love and his mind is obsessed with the feelings and emotions of Rosalind. In the forest of Arden, Orlando expresses his deep and passionate love for Rosalind by writing her name on the bark of the trees.

Orlando’s love is romantic and as a romantic lover Orlando’s character is par excellence. His heart is full of love for Rosalind and there is deluge of romantic emotions and feelings but Orlando has the potentiality to discipline, his flood of feelings. It is this control and discipline that have added additional charm to Orlando’s personality. He is not swayed away by emotions and feelings. He applies his mind and faces the pangs of love with patience. His love is typical romantic and platonic. Shakespeare has portrayed the character of Orlando in the spirit of Renaissance England.

Undoubtedly, Orlando is the centre of attraction and the main plot of the story revolves round his fearless , frank and indomitable courage. What is more, he is a sincere and passionate lover. His character will be ever remembered for his gentleness and large heartiness. He does not keep any ill-will even against his enemy. He does not harbour any jealousy. He believes in the goodness of forget and forgiveness, the quintessence message of Christianity. In brief we can say that Orlando’s character is a blend of many virtues. He really deserves to be the hero of the drama. Although Shakespeare’s comedies are dominated by the heroines. Yet Orlando’s character does not lag behind the virtuous character of Rosalind.


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