As You Like It

As You Like It is, with Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare two greatest romantic comedies. It is also proof that he perfected the form in the last years of the sixteenth century and just before he moved onto his major tragedies. Some critics have claimed an earlier date for its actual conception, but As You Like It was registered in 1599 and first published in the Folio of 1623. Its primary source is Lodge's Rosalynde although, as ever with Shakespeare, there are certain substantial changes to the original including introducing the new characters of Touchstone and Jaques in this instance. The story begins with the ousting of the Duke, father of Rosalind, from the throne by his own brother. With some loyal servants he hides in the Forest of Arden, while back in the court Rosalind falls in love with the orphan Orlando and is subsequently thrown out too. Rosalind then disguises herself as a man (see Twelfth Night for similar gender-bending antics) and calls herself Ganymede, bringing along her friend Celia as her sister 'Aliena'. With them comes Touchstone, the court jester, who has to play-act a romance with Ganymede. So follow some pastoral comic interludes with Ganymede amusingly the centre of a certain Phebe's attention while her shepherd lover Silvius is rejected. We meet Jaques too, a fashionable young courtier of the exiled Duke. As always in Shakespeare's comedies, following unmasking and resolution the couples sort themselves out appropriately and all is happy. The play is notable for having the most songs of any of Shakespeare's plays and for being largely amusement rather than plot based.

Table of contents
Dramatis Personae.
Act 1
Scene 1. Orchard of Oliver's house.
Scene 2. Lawn before the Duke's palace.
Scene 3. A room in the palace.
Act 2
Scene 1. The Forest of Arden.
Scene 2. A room in the palace.
Scene 3. Before OLIVER'S house.
Scene 4. The Forest of Arden.
Scene 5. The Forest.
Scene 6. The forest.
Scene 7. The forest.
Act 3
Scene 1. A room in the palace.
Scene 2. The forest.
Scene 3. The forest.
Scene 4. The forest.
Scene 5. Another part of the forest.
Act 4
Scene 1. The forest.
Scene 2. The forest.
Scene 3. The forest.
Act 5
Scene 1. The forest.
Scene 2. The forest.
Scene 3. The forest.
Scene 4. The forest.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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