William Shakespeare's comedic play As You Like It revolves around the love relationships that the characters are involved in. The witty humor often seems to be mocking plays of it's time as every character pairs with another to find love or reconcile a forgotten love. Oliver and his brother Orlando develop and illustrate the complexities of brotherly love from the introduction of Oliver's hatred for his brother to the end where he finds love for his brother once again. As the play opens Oliver quickly becomes the antagonist of the play. The audience learns, from Orlando, of Oliver wrong-doings. They are sons of Sir Rowland de Bois but the relationship they have is initially not one of the conventional brotherly love.
Oliver, the eldest son has taken the land left by his father but not taken the duties of caring for Orlando. As Orlando expresses, Oliver has "trained [Orlando] like a peasant obscuring and hiding from [him] all gentleman-like qualities" (I, i. 1601). There is irony present when Oliver describes Orlando because the depiction of a man "full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me his natural brother" (I, i. 1603) is a fair depiction of Oliver, himself. Adam, a faithful servant, reveals to Orlando his brothers plot "to burn the lodging where [Orlando] use to lie, and within it.
If he fail of that, he will have other means to cut you off" (II, iii. 1614). Orlando then decides to leave the land where he stays and go into the forest with Adam to escape his brother's murderous plot. Oliver is later asked by a Duke to seek out Orlando in the forest and "bring him, dead or living," (III, i. 1624).
Ban nigan 2 Oliver agrees replying "O that your highness knew my heart in this. I never loved my brother in my life." In act four Oliver tells a story of a heroic rescue to Rosalind, Orlando's love interest. The story being told is the story of Orlando rescuing his eldest brother from death. Orlando had the opportunity to leave his brother to die "but kindness, nobler ever than revenge, and nature, stronger than his just occasion, made him give battle to the lioness," (IV, iii. 1646). Orlando disregarded the fact that his brother had a plot to kill him and saved him regardless, illustrating his unconditional brotherly love.
When awaking to find his brother had defeated a lion to save him, Oliver then realized the love his brother commits to him and the love he has for his brother. Although Oliver proclaims his hatred initially in the play, he finds love for his brother in the last acts. Their sibling relationship resembles relationships of normal siblings. At some point most siblings will have their arguments and hatred for each other but eventually their love will be expressed.
Orlando and Oliver's love is very complex and may not be observed or expressed in the beginning but their brotherly love develops with time and maturity. Just as the brothers find love with Rosalind and Celia they also find their brotherly love for each other.