Thomas Lodge’s popular prose-romance Rosalynde or Euphues’ Golden Legacy (1590, reprinted 1592, 1596, 1598 and revived again after 1600 by As You Like It’s success) was evidently Shakespeare’s main starting point for the design and preoccupations of As You Like It. Even the title may have derived from Lodge’s throwaway line, ‘If you like it, so’ in his address to the reader. The plot was followed remarkably closely, though the love and disguise elements are even more central in the original. It is a much more traditional pastoral romance, and the modes of expression and courtship even more moral and chivalric. Rosalynde is, however, primarily a serious work, with only incidental humour. As You Like It is almost a satirisation of Lodge’s duller construct that focuses without irony on the virtues of a rural existence.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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