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Shakespeare’s As You Like It: Analysis of the Play

Presents synopsis of the play and an analysis of the plot, structure, setting, characters, theme and other significant elements that make up the play.

language english
wordcount 13621 (cca 38 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 18
Table of contents

Introduction 1
Origin and Sources of the Play 2
The Setting of the Play 3
The Action 7
Theme and Motifs in the Play 15
The Characterizations in the Play 18
References 28

Preview of the essay: Shakespeare’s As You Like It: Analysis of the Play

Shakespeare’s As You Like It: Analysis of the Play Shakespeare is a literary genius. Though it seems hyperbolic, he is considered to be the greatest author in any language, ancient or modern (Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 24). Throughout the world, Shakespeare’s plays are performed more frequently than those of any other playwrights. Editions and translations of his plays continue to flow from the press 350 years after the publication of the first collected edition, and articles and books about Shakespeare appears in such numbers that no bibliography can pretend to give a complete list.

We are always amazed at Shakespeare’s bravery when we work with his plays in the theatre. The man is a risk-taker. But he understands theatrical issues so well that his judgment is superb.

Nowhere is his genius more obvious than in As You Like It . This famous comedy is so well-known and Rosalind is so well loved, we may forget that As You Like It has a daring and brilliant two-fold design. First, Shakespeare puts all the dramatic tension and action in Act. I. Later we are transported to the Forest of Arden where there is little tension and absolutely no physical action. Then Shakespeare, with a sweep of his hand that takes our breath away, resolves the whole ...

... appearance of the god to present daughter to father, and to bless the brides and grooms, turns the end of the play into a solemn occasion in four ways:

• it formalizes what is already a very ritualistic play;
• it provides an image of the concord which reigns in Heaven and which Heaven blesses on earth;
• it unifies the play with the world of Queen Elizabeth I, in which allegorical pageantry occurs everywhere; and
• it concludes the action with a graceful spectacle.

At one level the play is a simple pastoral tale. At another, it raises major metaphysical and social issues. In Shakespeare’s terms, you may take it As You Like It.

Final Notes

Shakespeare seems not to depend on fashion. He survives all the changes because it is not only his language but also insight into human characters that capture the attention of his audience. His characters are of magnificent stature and nobility. In As You Like It you have seen characters act within their expected roles. Shakespeare’s clowns and humorists in his plays such as Falstaff and Touchstone are awesome and admirable with pardonable naughtiness. His women characters are irresistible. It is for this reason that Dryden mentioned of Shakespeare: “…of all the modern and perhaps ancient poets, he had the largest and most comprehensive soul.”
Essay is in categories


Humanistic Studies


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