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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

As You Like It Themes

As You Like It Themes


As You Like It is obsessed with the nature of love and desire. In the play, Shakespeare demonstrates over and over again how love can make people do some pretty risky and foolish things. In parti...

Foolishness and Folly

As You Like It makes it clear that human beings can be pretty ridiculous, so, naturally, much of the play is spent poking fun of foolish behavior—from Orlando's silly notion that love should look...

Contrasting Regions

By contrasting the treacherous French court with the idealized Forest of Arden, As You Like It participates in an age-old debate of pastoral literature—is city life better than country life? On...


Like Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare's As You Like It features a cross-dressing heroine whose disguise allows Shakespeare to explore the fluidity of gender. When Rosalind fle...


Domestic drama is par for the course in Shakespeare's comedies. In As You Like It, family treachery and betrayal drive the play's action and also remind us that relatives cannot always be counted...

Art and Culture

"All the world's a stage/ And all the men and women merely players" (2.7.9). So says Jaques, just one of many characters played by actors performing on a literal stage in As You Like It. Shakespea...


Transformation is a big deal in As You Like It. In the Forest of Arden, some characters transform through the ancient art of cross-dressing, while others shrug off their city-slicker identities an...

Philosophical Viewpoints

Pondering life's big questions is the activity of choice in As You Like It, where debating about philosophical points of view seems like an Olympic sport. (What else are characters supposed to do...

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