Two royal brothers of French blood, Duke Frederick and Duke Senior have gotten into a serious fraternal spat. As a result, Frederick has usurped his elder brother’s throne and forced him to flee into the neighboring Forest of Arden, accompanied by only a few of his most loyal supporters. Rosalind, the banished Duke’s daughter, has been kept tenuously in Frederick’s court as a companion to her cousin Celia, Frederick’s daughter.
Meanwhile, another pair of brothers are experiencing similar tumult: Orlando de Boys, the younger son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys, has been kept in poverty and dire circumstances by his malevolent elder brother, Oliver, since their father’s death.
A general challenge is issued by Duke Frederick to find someone strong enough to wrestle with Charles, his court wrestler. Orlando accepts the challenge, determined to find a way out of his distressing situation. At the match, he meets Rosalind and the two fall in love at (nearly) first sight.
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