As You Like It
As You Like It
by William Shakespeare

As You Like It Analysis

Literary Devices in As You Like It

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

GanymedeAs Rosalind decides to flee from Duke Frederick's court to Arden, she knows that rape is a real possibility in the forest, so she decides to cross-dress as a pretty young man named "Ganymed...

Setting

The play begins at the French court, but most of As You Like It goes down in the Forest of Arden. CourtAt the court, backstabbing and treachery are the names of the game. This is where the schemi...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author’s point of view, they don’t all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece o...

Genre

As You Like It is most definitely a comedy. More specifically, it's a pastoral comedy. There are some features and conventions that are common in both pastoral literature and Shakespearean comedy...

Tone

As You Like It contains two of the most cynical characters in Shakespearean literature: the "melancholy Jaques" (who sees the world as a place of doom and gloom) and the sarcastic and argumentative...

Writing Style

The rule of thumb when it comes to Shakespeare's plays is that the nobility (like Duke Senior) tend to speak in verse (poetry), which is a pretty formal way to talk. The commoners or, "Everyday Joe...

What’s Up With the Title?

During the play's epilogue, Rosalind steps on stage and chats up the audience about the play they have just watched: "I charge you," she says, "to like as much of this play as please you." In othe...

What's Up With the Ending?

There's a lot going on at the play's end: four couples get hitched and the exiles decide to return to court. (That's Shakespeare's way of letting us know that social order has been restored and we...

Tough-o-Meter

There's some good news and not so good news here, Shmoopsters. The good news is that the plot of As You Like It is relatively easy to follow. (It's not nearly as twisty and turny as some other Sh...

Plot Analysis

Orlando and Rosalind both live in places where they are denied their rightful power.Initially, Orlando and Rosalind are both uneasy, but they're settled in some way. Orlando knows he'd like to reb...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

Duke Senior is banished to the forest; Rosalind lives with her mean uncle who's high on banishment; Orlando's brother Oliver would like to see him burnt alive in the house they share.Most of our ma...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Rosalind and Orlando fall in love, and immediately each must flee into the woods to hide from separate threats on each of their lives. Neither knows the other is also in the woods.After finding Orl...

Trivia

In 2005, The Barenaked Ladies composed the music for director Antoni Cimolino's production of As You Like It (source). Go to "Best of the Web" to listen. The beginning of the "All the world's a sta...

Steaminess Rating

Here's the deal. There isn't any nudity or sex on stage in As You Like It. But! We're talking about Shakespeare, which means the play is full of dirty jokes like this one, where Touchstone tells...

Allusions

Thomas Lodge's Rosalynd or Euphues' Golden Legacy (c. 1586-1590)The Tale of Gamelyn (Middle English narrative)Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son (1.1)Robin Hood (1.1)Helen of Troy (3.2)Atalanta...

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