• As You Like It is a pastoral comedy
by William Shakespeare believed to
have been written in 1599 or early
1600 and first published in the First
• The play features one of
Shakespeare's most famous and
oft-quoted speeches, "All the
world's a stage", and is the origin of
the phrase "too much of a good
• The play remains a favorite among
audiences and has been adapted
for radio, film, and musical theatre.
• Shakespeare hardly ever invented
the stories of his plays. Like other
writers at that time, he borrowed
them from old stories or poems, but
rewrote them in his own words.
• The direct and immediate source of
"As You Like It" is Thomas Lodge's
"Rosalind, Euphues' Golden
Legacy,” first published in 1590.
• Lodge's story is based upon "The
Tale of Gamelyn," wrongly
attributed to Chaucer and printed
among Chaucer's "Canterbury
• The play is set in a duchy in
France, but most of the action
takes place in a location called
the Forest of Arden, which may
be intended for the Ardennes in
France, but is sometimes
Arden, Warwickshire, near
The Court of Duke Frederick:
• Duke Frederick, Duke Senior's younger brother
and his usurper, also Celia's father
• Rosalind, Duke Senior's daughter
• Celia, Duke Frederick's daughter and Rosalind's
• Touchstone, a court fool
The Exiled Court of Duke Senior in the Forest of
• Duke Senior, Duke Frederick's older brother
and Rosalind's father
• Jaques, a discontented, melancholy lord
• Amiens, an attending lord and musician
The Household of the deceased Sir Rowland de
• Oliver de Bois, the eldest son and heir
• Jacques de Bois, the second youngest son.
• Orlando de Bois, youngest son.
• Adam, a faithful old servant who follows
Orlando into exile
Country folk in the Forest of
• Phebe, a proud shepherdess
• Silvius, a shepherd
• Audrey, a country girl
• Corin, an elderly shepherd
• William, a country man
• Sir Oliver Martext, a curate
With such large cast, it can be
difficult for audiences to follow
• Frederick has usurped the Duchy and exiled his older brother, Duke
• The Duke's daughter Rosalind has been permitted to remain at
court because she is the closest friend and cousin of Frederick's
only child, Celia.
• Orlando, a young gentleman of the kingdom who has who has just
won a wrestling match against Frederick’s Champion, falls in love
with Rosalind, but is forced to flee his home after being threatened
by his older brother, Oliver.
• Frederick becomes angry and banishes Rosalind from
• Celia and Rosalind decide to flee together accompanied by
the jester Touchstone, with Rosalind disguised as a young
man named Ganymede, and Celia disguised as a poor
• When Frederick discovers his daughter has run off with
Rosalind and Touchstone, he sends Orlando’s brother
Oliver to fetch them back.
• In The forest, Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede), Celia, and
Touchstone, meet up with Orlando and the deposed Duke.
• Orlando is busy composing soppy love poems to Rosalind, and hanging
them on trees.
• Meanwhile, The shepherdess Phebe, with whom Silvius is in love, has
fallen in love with Ganymede (actually Rosalind),
• Touchstone, meanwhile, has fallen in love with the dull-witted
shepherdess Audrey, and tries to woo her.
• William, another shepherd, attempts to marry Audrey as well, but is
stopped by Touchstone, who threatens to kill him "a hundred and fifty
From the east to
No jewel is like
Her worth, being
mounted on the wind,
Through all the
All the pictures
Are but black to
Let no fair be kept in
But the fair of
• Rosalind, also in love with Orlando, meets him as
Ganymede and pretends to counsel him to cure him of
being in love.
• Ganymede says "he" will take Rosalind's place and "he"
and Orlando can act out their relationship.
• Rosalind is hoping that, as “Ganymede”, she can teach
Orlando how to properly love and respect her as a woman.
• Throughout the play, Shakespeare
makes fun of (or spoofs) many of
the conventions of poetry and
literature dealing with love, such as
the idea that love is a disease that
brings suffering and torment to the
• He also spoofs the idea that time
and experience changes
people, with many of his characters
changing attitudes instantaneously!
• He also spoofs the idea that country
folk are more pure and unspoiled
than city folk, with several of the
shepherds dim-witted, shallow, and
• "Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern
comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually
involving marriages between the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that
is more light-hearted than Shakespeare's other plays. Shakespearean comedies
tend to also include:
• A greater emphasis on situations than characters (this numbs the audience's
connection to the characters, so that when characters experience misfortune,
the audience still finds it laughable)
• A struggle of young lovers to overcome difficulty, often presented by elders
• Separation and re-unification
• Deception among characters (especially mistaken identity)
• A clever servant
• Fights between characters, often within a family
• Multiple, intertwining plots
• Use of all styles of comedy (slapstick, puns, dry humour, earthy humour, witty
banter, practical jokes)
• A Happy Ending, though this is a given, since by definition, anything without a
happy ending can't be a comedy.
• Fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the
golden world. (1.1.127)
• Always the dullness of the fool is the
whetstone of the wits. (1.2.59)
• Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
• My pride fell with my fortunes. (1.2.269)
• O, how full of briers is this working-day
• Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
• Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
• All the world's a stage, And all the men and
women merely players: (2.7.139)
• Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude:
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
• O wonderful, wonderful, and most
wonderful wonderful! and yet again
wonderful, and after that, out of all
• I do desire we may be better
• "So so" is good, very good, very
excellent good: and yet it is not; it is
but so so. (5.1.25)
• Oh! how bitter a thing it is to look into
happiness through another man's
• The first film version of “As You
Like It” was made in 1908, since
then, over fifteen film and
television adaptations have been
made! Notable versions include:
• 1936 with Lawrence Olivier
• 1978 BBC with Helen Mirren
• 1982 Stratford Festival
• 2007 with Kenneth Branaugh
• 2010 Globe Theatre Production
A Nutsy the Squirrel Production
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