"Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old." Is the message Queen Elizabeth I gives Orlando with the gift of eternal life and in researching the archives, I discovered that children are rather prevalent in the film. The film parallels the theme of eternal life with children as symbols of the beginning of life.
For Orlando, dogs represent a source of protection, comfort and companionship. Yet they also stand as a symbol of Orlando's obedience. Dogs play an important role in explaining Orlando's subservience to Queen Elizabeth and act as a form of protection against the cunning nature of Nick Greene. Yet, their most important function is one based around comfort and companionship. Two dogs lay by his side during the first endless sleep. A dog first welcomes her back to the estate after her absences. And more importantly, dogs continually stand by Orlando's side throughout the entire first half of the film. Dogs truly are a man's best friend.
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