Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare "As You Like It"

Breanna

November 27, 2015

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

About: Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare

This poem is actually a song sung by Amiens, in the Shakespeare play "As You Like It".  Amiens' character contributes very little to the play's "action", but he sings two songs which help clarify the plot and key themes.

Amiens is a lord who chose to follow Duke senior, who was banished by his brother. In this song Amiens comments on how human insolence and lack of appreciation is more bitter than the winter wind. This poem reflects the harm and misery those closest to us can inflict.

At the beginning of the poem/song Amiens speaks of the bitter cold winter wind. The wind can be unkind and blow strong but it isn't as cruel as human society.

In the second half of the song Amiens speaks of his friends, and how they seem to have forgotten everything he had done for them in the past,  and although the wind is bitter and could cause him to freeze,  it's not as cutting as the behaviour of his friends. Amiens warns us that friendship is a sham, that it's only a pretence and that loving is for fools.

Fun Facts About "As You Like It"

- One of the key themes of the play is injustice done to individuals by their family - Duke Senior is betrayed by his younger brother and Orlando is bullied by his older brother.

- Heroine Rosalind and her cousin Celia encounter many memorable characters, such as Jacques who gives many of Shakespeare's most famous speeches, such as "All the world's a stage" and "A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest".

- The play is also the origin to the phrase "too much of a good thing". Where Rosalind says "Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? Come sister, you shall be the priest and marry us. Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you say, sister?"

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