See in text (Act IV - Act IV, Scene 2)
The deer is a thematic motif throughout this play that reveals character’s interior identities and their relationships with one another. The deer is both symbolic of the natural world and taken up as a symbol of man’s relationship with this natural world. In the beginning of the play, Jaques contemplates his role as a guardian of nature over a dead deer. Here a dead deer is used to show the Duke’s fall from power and loss of title. Deer’s horns are also used throughout the play as symbols of being cuckolded—which both symbolizes a failure of the love contract and a usurpation of aristocratic social order.