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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

Analysis: 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 other words, you can take it or leave it, love it or hate it—a point that Shakespeare reiterates in the title, As You Like It.

As a title, As You Like It also seems like a reference to the endless interpretive possibilities of the play, don't you think? For some, the play is all about the nature of love. For others, it's about the fluidity of gender. Some folks even see it as a play that's all about same-sex desire. Still, for many others, it's about the theatrical nature of life.

The point? How you read the play and what you choose to take away from it is entirely up to you. There's no one right or wrong way to read this play, just like there's no one right or wrong way to look at the world.

P.S. If you think As You Like It is a title with major attitude, check out our take on Twelfth Night, or What You Will.

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