Read As You Like It by William Shakespeare Online


Shakespeare's romantic comedy As You Like It sets up a number of dualities that are explored but never resolved, exposing the complex relationships that exist between romance and realism, nobleman and commoner, and male and female. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries onShakespeare's romantic comedy As You Like It sets up a number of dualities that are explored but never resolved, exposing the complex relationships that exist between romance and realism, nobleman and commoner, and male and female. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries on As You Like It, including commentaries by such important critics as Samuel Johnson, George Bernard Shaw, W. H. Auden, and many others. Students will also benefit from the additional features in this volume, including an introduction by Harold Bloom, an accessible summary of the plot, an analysis of several key passages, a comprehensive list of characters, a biography of Shakespeare, essays discussing the main currents of criticism in each century since Shakespeare's time, and more.

Title : As You Like It
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789380914459
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

As You Like It Reviews

  • Madeline
    2019-04-27 00:14

    Just saw this last night at the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta. So, naturally, here's...As You Like It, abridged:OLIVER: Hi everyone, I'm Oliver and I'll be your designated jackass for the evening. ORLANDO: Hey bro! So, remember how you got me to wrestle that unbeatable guy and were all like, "he's so gonna kill you, mwahaha"? Well, I totally kicked his ass AND met this hot chick Rosalind. Man, it's great to be me!OLIVER: OMG IMMA KEEL YOU! ORLANDO: *runs*ROSALIND: Hey Celia, your uncle just banished me for literally no reason. Wanna run away to the forest with me?CELIA: Sure, why not? ROSALIND: *turns to audience* HEY, DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?AUDIENCE: WOMEN IN DRAG TIME!ROSALIND: THAT'S RIGHT!SHAKESPEARE: Man, that shit NEVER gets old. ORLANDO: OMG I LOVE ROSALIND SO MUCH. I will procede to show it in the dorkiest, most illogical way possible by nailing poems on trees. ROSALIND/GANYMEDE: Hey there, stranger who I have never seen before! I just so happen to be an awesome love coach! I can help you marry this chick; just pretend that I'm her and always call me Rosalind and make me fall in love with you.ORLANDO: AWESOME! THAT GUY WHO GIVES THE "ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE" SPEECH: All the world's a stage, and...AUDIENCE: HEY LOOK AMUSING POOR PEOPLE.THAT GUY WHO GIVES THE "ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE" SPEECH: Dammit.SILVIUS: OMG I LOVE PHEBE.PHEBE: I'M A PSYCHO BITCH AND OMG I LOVE GANYMEDE.CELIA: ...awkward. ROSALIND: Okay, this is kind of a clusterfuck. Since we've already been nattering on for two and half hours, I'm gonna wrap things up: Phebe, you can't marry me because surprise! I'm a girl, so you have to marry the dorky shepherd you hate. Orlando, I've really been Rosalind the whole time, and why you haven't figured that out yet is really beyond me. ORLANDA: Rosalind, I find your giant web of lies charming and cute, rather than deceitful and conniving. Let's get married. OLIVER: Hey everybody, I'm good now!CELIA: YAY! LET'S GET MARRIED. ROSALIND: So I guess that pretty much wraps it up, except we're all still banished...HUMAN DEUS-EX-MACHINA: Good news, everybody! The evil duke suddenly found Jesus and gave up his throne, so now Orlando gets it and everything is just about as perfect as it can possibly be!EVERYONE: YAY! THE END. NO, SERIOUSLY.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-04-22 20:25

    Orlando, the youngest, and most loved son of the late Sir Rowland de Boys, ( set in France in the 16th Century) is being mistreated by his older brother Oliver, the middle son Jaques, is away at school, since Oliver inherited most of the rich estate, and money, he has the power of the purse to do anything . He, Oliver is jealous of his sibling's superior attributes, Orlando lacks education, possessions, totally dependent on his brother, but the very simpatico boy's qualities, nevertheless shines brightly through, causing Oliver who hates him, to hate him even more. He arranges a wrestling match between Orlando and the vicious wrestler Charles, who has crippled three previous opponents and gives special orders to kill his brother... Things don't go as planned, and Charles is the one carried off unconsciously to the surprise of all, Rosalind witnesses this event and falls in love with Orlando. The political situation in the dukedom, at the court of Duke Frederick, who overthrew his brother Duke Senior, and exiled him is hazardous, the shaky ruler fears plots against him, all are potential enemies, his daughter's Celia's best friend and companion is her cousin Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior, which makes for an uneasy situation. Duke Frederick the paranoid royal, banishes his niece Rosalind, from court and threatens her with death if she remains, the loyal cousin Celia, will not abandon the person she loves the most in the world. They the two cousins secretly leave the palace, dressed like men for safety reasons during their travels, Rosalind becomes Ganymede, and Celia, takes the appropriate name Aliena, for additional help the court fool, Touchstone, also goes, he is a lot smarter than he looks. Meanwhile warned by the longtime family servant, old Adam, that Oliver is plotting to kill him, Orlando... the two flee to the Arden Forest, where the exiled Duke Senior lives with his followers . Duke Senior, is rather enjoying himself, no responsibilities, a leisurely existence in the beautiful woods, the food while not luxurious, is enough for his simple needs, shelter quite adequate for his people too, he doesn't care about losing power. Then the needy men and women, escaping the tyranny of his cruel brother, arrive, Celia, Rosalind, ( who while disguised, likes to play amusing tricks on Orlando) Touchstone, Adam, Orlando, and many others. And the nervous evil one Frederick, is bringing a vast army to crush the oblivious inhabitants of the forest paradise. One of Shakespeare's better comedies, still after 400 years , it will please readers who like to be entertained, and this not serious tale, does indeed accomplish that very well.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-05-03 20:19

    As in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Hamlet" and "Antony and Cleopatra," Shakespeare in "As You Like It" is able to join disparate elements in unusual proportion into a unified whole of tone and mood which may be rationalized but never completely explained. What I love about this play is the way in which it develops a conventionally suspenseful plot--complete with goodies and baddies, action-packed scuffles and wrestling matches, lovers "meeting cute," etc.--at breakneck speed for all of the first act, and then slows to something close to a halt once it reaches the Forest of Arden. This is as it should be, since this forest is a place of magical transformation just as certainly as Oberon and Titania's fairie wood, a place where time stops and love grows and both are discussed and exemplified in language both witty and profound. At the end, all plot strands are resolved in what should be an unsatisfactory fashion, but somehow still manages to satisfy not only the characters themselves but also the audience, who have both been transformed by the timeless experience of Arden.

  • James
    2019-05-22 00:26

    Book Review3 of 5 stars to As You Like It, a pastoral comedy and play written by William Shakespeare around 1599.Rosalind falls for Orlando for many reasons in Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. Since Orlando is such a small man compared to Charles the wrestler, when Orlando beats Charles, Rosalind thinks that the “young man” is capable of great strength and survival despite his small frame. He has some hidden strength and power that he is able to fight up and beat his large opponent. He is such a free spirited man and seems so approachable. He is the good guy or the “boy next door” type. He has determination and skill. Orlando is powerful in his words too. His speech is eloquent and very convincing. He just seems like such a perfect man that any woman, particularly Rosalind, could fall for him.Orlando comes across as a charmer and a seducer. He is quiet in some ways, yet he has an underlying sense of risk and danger. The darkness that surrounds him creates an aura of appeal to women. This is probably how Shakespeare intended the role to be played. He is a charismatic portrayer and wins the audience quite easily. When he is wrestling, he is strong and confidant, determined and willing. He could conquer the world. It seems as though he is the perfect actor for the role.In the BBC version of As You Like It, the actor who plays Orlando reminds me of a weakened, run-of-the-mill schoolboy who hasn’t yet found himself. The character of Orlando is so much more. As a wrestler, he seemed to know what he was doing, but the match was so fake. At least in Olivier’s version, it looked somewhat possible for Orlando to beat Charles. In this version, I laughed at the whole scene. It seemed so fake. He was strong-minded, yet he didn’t have the physical appeal like Olivier did. Olivier looked like the Orlando I pictured. In the BBC version, the scenes between Orlando, Celia, and Rosalind seemed contrived. I thought Rosalind was just in a bit of shock over seeing Orlando win. I don’t think she was attracted to him or felt as though he was such a great man.Olivier’s work is usually very close to the true Shakespearean plays, yet so are the BBC versions. It was hard to decide how I felt about these two. I though the casting was bad in the BBC version while in Olivier’s version, the casting was on target. I believed their every moves and emotions. The looks between Rosalind and Orlando were real, not just fake longings like those in the BBC version. I definitely preferred the Olivier version -- this time -- over the BBC one. It came closer to Shakespeare’s intentions.About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators

  • Ted
    2019-05-02 21:37

    3 1/2+Hm. Tried to resubmit this review earlier and all that happened was that it was posted that I'd just finished reading the play?!? Two years ago! What gives?This is the second review of a Shakespeare play I’ve done. Happily, that means that I’ve read the second of my planned reads of all his plays, over the next ten years. So I’m on schedule. 8)But it’s easy to be on schedule when you’ve barely started. 8/Naturally, this review is structured a bit different from the first one I did ( in which I posed questions about how I should go about this project, and played around with a sort of outline. In this one the outline has changed. We’ll see if it can become more permanent as it goes.The PlayLike the first play I read, this is one of Shakespeare’s comedies. Evidence suggests that the play was written between June 1599 and August of the next year. Its first performance is uncertain, with 1603 a possibility. It was first published in the first folio in 1623.Shakespeare took the story from a novel, Rosalynde, by one Thomas Lodge, that was first published in 1590. Rosalynde was the most popular and one of the best of the pastoral romantic tales which were the fashion in the early 1590s. By 1598 the book was in its fourth edition. The story was thus likely to be well known to many in the original audience. Shakespeare followed his source fairly closely, though he added some characters of his own and changed most of the names.As hinted above, it’s sometimes referred to as a “pastoral” comedy, where pastoral refers to a literary genre: pas•to•ral noun. A work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life.As You Like It is one of the prime examples of pastoral literature. Whyso? Well, with the exception of three scenes, it takes place outside. The first two scenes are located in an orchard, and on a lawn. All remaining scenes (seventeen of them) are located in the “Forest of Arden”, near the geographical center of England***. There are actually a couple rather minor characters who are shepherds. And the view of life presented is certainly, if not quite idyllic, at least explicitly said more than once by the characters to be preferable to life in the courts, castles, etc. which are the other choice.Of course this might be partly because several of the characters have been banished (unjustly) from those courts, castles, etc. by the play’s villains. So to some extent, Shakespeare tells a story about making the best out of a bad situation. (***Note: This “Forest of Arden” may be a pun of Shakespeare’s? For elsewhere I see that the play is actually set in France, and if so, we might suppose that this also refers not only to the forest in England familiar to his audience, but also to the Adrennes region of present day Luxembourg/Belgium/France.)The Forest of Arden (1888 - 1897, possibly reworked 1908), Albert Pinkham RyderBut he also makes a case for the country life, especially through the character Jaques, a lord attending the Duke who has been banished, and has taken residence in the forest with his followers. Jaques plays almost NO PART in the play, other than to speak his lines, which offer his philosophical musings and opinions about the pastoral life and other human concerns beyond the mundane.Jaques in fact represents, according to the Introduction in my edition, a break in Shakespeare’s main concern in his plays. “Hitherto he had balanced plot and character. Henceforward he was more interested in character, and he tended to pick out one or two persons in a play and to show their characters from every angle by bringing them into contact with a variety of persons and situations.”This was totally new information to me, and one worth keeping in mind (assuming that it’s valid). The twenty plays prior to As You Like It were: all the histories (ten) except Henry VIII (his last play); seven of the twelve comedies; only two tragedies (Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet); and only one of the six problem plays (Merchant of Venice).The eighteen plays coming after As You Like It: the one history, four comedies (Twelfth Night, Merry Wives, All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure), the other eight tragedies, and the other five problem plays.The Play and II immediately realized that I knew absolutely nothing about this play. Despite the title being familiar, I’d never read it, and had no idea that it is from this play (and from the mouth of Jaques) that comes:All the world’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players.They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,Full of strange oaths and bearded like a pard,Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws and modern instances, And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered PantaloonWith spectacles on nose and pouch on side,His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.What can follow that? Yeah, the rest of the play. But I’ll leave it there. For a synopsis of the play, see I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the play. I’ve rated it slightly above Midsummer Night’s Dream (well, 3 1/2 to 3 1/2 at present, but 4 to 3 in stars). I’m sure the reason was that I was paying attention to Jaques and some of the other characters for their views on country living, on love, and on man’s rather unfortunate predicament in life (though in the context of the light-hearted play it doesn’t seem so bad).The comedy of the play is comprised partly of the fact that the main female protagonist, Rosalind, is disguised as a man (Ganymede) throughout much of the play; her interactions with Orlando, desperately in love with Rosalind but not of course with Ganymede, are the source of the usual mistaken-identity humor. But much more than this is the repartee that Shakespeare provides between pairs of characters (Rosalind/Celia, Orlando/Jaques etc.) in scene after scene, overloaded to the point of bursting with puns and double entendres. The audience must have been rolling in the aisles. But these dialogues, hard enough for the modern reader to follow with her footnotes explaining archaic meanings and long lost turns of phrase, are impossible for a play goer to get much out of – yes, the smile is there on the face, but the guffaw is missing. (A problem for any of Shakespeare’s comedy writing, of course.)But some of the humor can’t fail to come through. I really did laugh out loud at this exchange. Rosalind implores Celia about information on Orlando, who Celia has just said she’s met in the forest:ROS. Alas the day! What shall I do with my doublet and hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word!CEL. You must borrow me Gargantua’s mouth first. ‘Tis a word too great for any mouth of this age’s size. To say aye and no to these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.(My emphasis.) Heck, Celia’s reply isn’t even necessary, though it does put a lovely phrase to the preposterousness of Rosalind’s command.The play and thee (them really)My Coleridge book (Coleridge’s Writings on Shakespeare) has naught but a bit of marginalia he wrote on Oliver’s speech to the wrestler Charles, as Oliver gives him permission, even an admonition, to kill his brother (Orlando) when he faces him in a match. Coleridge: “It is too venturous to charge a speech in Shakespeare with want of truth to nature. And yet …” I won’t bother quoting the rest, I’m not sure I understand the fineness of the point he makes.Here’s a couple reviews by GR friends: (short) and (longer, on Shakespeare’s use of Nature in the play).In the play’s Wiki article, there are adaptations of As You Like It in several media mentioned here.A MovieI watched the 1936 film starring Laurence Olivier as Orlando and Elizabeth Bergner as Rosalind. When I finally finished reading the play and was ready to watch the DVD, which had been at my house from Netflix for months, I discovered that the disc was cracked. I should have taken this as a warning. Instead I searched Amazon and found that I could watch the same movie streaming at no cost (since I’m a Prime member). I happily settled back to watch. How do I loath thee? Let me count the ways.1. I had trouble understanding the dialogue. Not because of the Elizabethan language, the sound was just bad.2. It didn’t even approach being funny. All the (admittedly difficult) dialogue that had them rolling in the aisles hundreds of years ago was gone, even the few lines that were quite readily humorous in our own age.3. All the world’s a stage …was gone! Howso? Must have been a cost-cutting measure, because Jaques had been written out of the script.4. But almost all of the songs written by the Bard for the play were there, set to insipid music and even crappy dance where that had been indicated in the play. (As You Like It the Musical)Yup, it was a complete loss. If the DVD hadn’t been already busted I would have been tempted …(Well, not a complete loss. Olivier was good.)My ReviewAs you have already read it, I hope you Like It.

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-05-10 01:25

    Definitely one of favourites. Loved it.

  • Manny
    2019-05-02 19:19

    Celebrity Death Match Special: As You Like It versus Generic ThrillerAll the world’s a thriller,And all the men and women cardboard characters;They have their exits and their entrances,And when you think they've gone, pop up again.Sometimes they've got a twin, and sometimes moreTheir death, ofttimes, is faked or not for realTwo different babes may turn out to be oneOr else one babe, mayhap, can yet be twoAnd so the plot creaks on, and stiffs pile upUntil the hero finds the Big Reveal And all is clear until the sequel's startAnd then a second sequel, then a thirdThe author dies, but further sequels comeWritten by some unhappy press-ganged hackSans wit, sans taste, sans thought, sans everything.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-05-18 23:32

    "All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players:"-- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7'As You Like It' has many things to commend it as a play. It is entertaining and filled with fantastic lines. It contains many of Shakespeare's favorite tropes: gender bending, mistaken/hidden identities, family squabbles/usurpation, love/lust, revenge, etc. It starts off well too -- but in the end, for me, it just sort of fizzles and farts out a bit. Limps out, perhaps, is a better way of stating it. Surrenders to an almost contrived and overly neat "happy Hymen ending". THIS is Shakespeare at his most fit. He is at the top of his game. This play, however, seems to be a bit phoned in at the end. Perhaps, Shakespeare knew he was about to deliver Hamlet. Also, to be fair, this play does GET a lot of play. It is a crowd pleaser. A romance. A fancy. So, perhaps I'm just wanting him, unfairly, to hit home runs every time at bat. Mostly, I was displeased with how easily the villains (if you could call them that) turned. What? Suddenly, out of the blue Oliver de Boys sees the light? What? And all it takes is for Duke Frederick to run into a hermit in the woods and becomes religious. Ok. Weak, but OK. Also, I'm not a big fan of music in Shakespeare's plays. Some probably dig it. I'm not in that camp. Here are, however, some of my favorite lines, as you like:-- "Always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits." (Act I, Scene 2)-- "I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." (Act 3, Scene 2)-- "Time travels in divers paces with divers persons." (Act 3, Scene 2)-- "Men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives." (Act 4, Scene 1)-- "Oh! how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes." (Act 5, Scene 2)

  • Jeanette
    2019-05-05 00:23

    The fun of Shakespeare's comedies isn't in the plots but in the pure genius of his language. Many of his best lines have become such staples of common usage that most people aren't even aware they're quoting Shakespeare. If they DO know, you can forget about asking them which plays the lines come from. I find an intensely perverse pleasure in Shakespeare's inventive insults. I can only DREAM of thinking up such clever quips and comebacks in the heat of an argument. And if I could think them up, I wouldn't have the nerve to use them. As You Like It has some of the best insults of all the Shakespeare I've read so far. Touchstone the Fool gets some of the funniest lines. I'd love to play that part. I know, it's a man's part, but I'd be willing to disguise myself for the pleasure of delivering those lines. I'm six feet tall, so I could probably pull it off with the right costume to hide my womanly curves. Maybe I should start taking steroids to deepen my voice and get ready for my performance. Why not? All the female roles were played by boys back in Shakespeare's day, so why not turn the tables and let me play Touchstone?Rosalind gets some pretty good lines too, especially when she's disguised as "Ganymede." Maybe I could go for that role. She gets to say "Tis such fools as you/That makes the world full of ill-favored [that means UGLY] children." HA! And she tells Phoebe: "Sell when you can; you are not for all markets." OUCH! Or I could be Jaques (pronounced "Jakes" and/or "Jake-wees"). He's got that great "All the world's a stage" speech, and some good insults, too. " his brain/Which is as dry as a remainder biscuit after a voyage." many roles, so little time. And, little talent... But I can't let that stop me. I'll let you all know when I'm ready for my stage debut.

  • Kelly
    2019-05-18 03:23

    I just saw this play for the first time since college, at the Shakespeare Theater here in DC. I've never really known what to say about it, to be honest. I know all the hype surrounding Rosalind, and I agree with it. It's a really excellent part for any actress, and I love that the play is structured entirely around her. The play even offers the rare pretty great supporting part for a woman in Celia. There's Jacques, the odd and amusing duck who doesn't ever quite fit, and a surprisingly large and non-commentary filled part for the clown. But it's always sat kind of oddly with me. The first act and the second act seem to have very little to do with one another in tone or approach. The characters have the light character development of a comedy (both villains use the Don John classic justification for their behavior: "I don't even know why I hate that guy, but I totally do, so I'm going to continue to be a serious, life-ruining dick to him"), but there's some surprisingly serious and violent moments that don't quite sit with that either. There are great individual comedic/love scenes but they're interspersed with Jacques and the clown and who else knows what- it's got such weird pacing. And it often shows in productions. The one I saw last night was no exception. The director had his actors play the thing ridiculously straight- no subtext whatsoever. It was the first play I've sat through where I wanted to raise my hand and give line readings because I really felt like they left a lot out there on the stage that they didn't do a thing with. I mean, it's one thing to have a different preferred interpretation than the director, but I don't know that he interpreted it at all, really. All the dialogue seemed intended to be perfectly unambiguous, which is a tragic waste of any Shakespeare production. Not even the characters appear to be thinking through their problems, never mind the audience. The Seven Ages of Man speech was declaimed from on high and in such a silently reverent room that people applauded when it was over (and these are people who know better). The best Shakespeare productions I've seen are the ones where another character's perspective is illuminated through a moment of silence and directed gaze, or another path that could have been taken on the way to the conclusion is denied. For example, I've always liked productions that make the choice that the Prince in Much Ado is in love with Beatrice. It's right there in the dialogue, but only in one crucial moment- the rest is carried on in silence and looks and implications. Likewise the idea that Gertrude lets Ophelia drown because she thinks she'd be better off dead- that's why she has such a full report of what she did and didn't save her. I got nothing here, not even a single solitary hint of unrequited lesbian love, despite some fairly obvious and recurring opportunities for that. If he had only put some interpretation on it and given me a thread to follow and theorize about.But since he didn't occupy my mind, at least it gave me time to think about a few things in the play that I hadn't seen before:1) Surveillance: I had not realized before seeing this again how much of this play is people telling stories about something that happened off-stage and reporting it to people onstage. People spend a LOT of time listening to other people talk- even leading players. Moreover, even if there is a live-action scene where something is actually happening right in front of them, there's always a character standing off to the side witnessing it. Even if they don't say a word. There are very rarely any private scenes. Backs up the whole interpretation of this thing as a treatise on gender and relationships as performance, whether a voluntary or involuntary one. I think there was maybe one or two scenes where two characters were genuinely alone- and both of them were in the threatening, dark first act.2) The Otherworld: One thing the play did that I liked was that it used the scene changes for the appearance of a goddess of marriage who also seemed to double as a forest spirit. Unacknowledged, she guided the characters to their next step. The characters taking off and putting on costumes again was spotlighted center stage (which isn't surprising given the theme, but her help was unexpected). I've seen plays at that theater before and they used the lights that they use to signal the appearance of magic or the otherworld again, which was an interesting choice. I wouldn't have connected faerie with this play before. But of course it makes sense- they're in the forest, people are wandering around trying to find each other or escape each other pretty frequently. Why wouldn't there be a Puck helping to arrange this? And sure- divine intervention seems just as good an excuse as anything else as to how these people are getting away with their gender bending/identity screwing and changing magic.3) The lonely arms of ruling figures: at least in the comedies. Have we noticed this? The guy who is actually the most powerful in terms of status in the play often ends up standing alone on stage amongst the couples at the end. I mean Theseus is the outlier, but he's a conquerer, right? And Oberon is a game player playing chess, not a lover. Those ladies are both coerced or spoils in some fashion. Not super romantic, however much we're going to gloss over that. Too serious to be involved in such plots? I dunno, I just noticed it. They're just standing awkwardly at the end a lot.4) Taming of the Shrew v. As You Like It: Lots of commentary about what men and women are and are not and battles of the sexes. Lots of discussion about which gender is better are this or that- two completely different tacks, at least on the surface. Two epilogues given to ladies with surprisingly similar message for all that. What are we thinking was going on here?5) Also, speaking of the structure, why go out of your way like this to make such a Statement that this is a comedy at the end of the show? The whole first half and setup seemed to state otherwise. That shit was not funny. And now all of a sudden hijinx and four weddings? I know it's a problem play, but still, what's up with that?Next time I see this, I'll be interested to focus more on the Jacques angle, because there's something going on there I need to figure out. But that's all for this round.

  • Wanda
    2019-05-11 20:17

    All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.I am always charmed when I go to see a Shakespearean play and hear familiar phrases. As You Like It certainly has its share of those.A cinema chain near me offers showings of the National Theatre (London) on a regular basis and I went this week for my first experience of this play. As expected, I enjoyed it a great deal. The only issue was a slight falter in reception (and regrettably this was during the famous “All the world’s a stage” scene). It has all the elements that say “Shakespeare” to me—mistaken identities, disguises & cross-dressing, instantaneous loves, and questions of loyalty.The stage set for the Arden forest was extremely interesting—the forest itself was created from furniture suspended from the ceiling, which I know sounds weird but somehow it worked well. Watching the transformation of the stage to this arrangement prompted intake of breath among the audience. It was amazing to watch as things gradually swept up into place.Also fabulous was the music and singing, which really enhanced the experience and which I wouldn’t even have realized I was missing, had I merely read the play at home. Truly, the plays are meant to be experienced, rather than simply read and this one was a great pleasure on so many levels.

  • Lyn
    2019-05-08 02:14

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”Another very enjoyable and entertaining play by The Bard. “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”Also another very influential work as it is apparent how many romantic comedies over the years have borrowed liberally from this classic tale. “Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak.”Rosalind is also probably the blueprint of countless strong heroines over the years.“I would rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad. And to travel for it too!”

  • Foad
    2019-05-15 20:16

    نمايش به اندازه ى باقى كمدى ها، طنز نبود، اما روايت بسيار شيرينى از عشق بود، و باز مثل "رؤیای یک نیمه شب تابستان" و "کمدی اشتباهات"، از جا به جايى شخصيت ها استفاده شده بود، هر چند به شكلى تازه و جالب. خلاصه نمایش برای یادآوری شخصی(view spoiler)[قهرمان زن نمايش، "روزاليند"، كه از قصر عموى خود به جنگلى تبعيد شده، براى اين كه به مشكلى برنخوره، خودش رو شبيه مردها كرده. در اين بين عاشق قديم خودش "اورلاندو" رو مى بينه. اورلاندو از شدت عشقش به روزاليند مى گه، و روزاليند (كه بهشكل مرد در اومده) مى گه: عشقى نيست كه با بد رفتارى معشوق سرد نشه. دو نفر با هم قرار مى ذارن روزاليند (كه به شكل مرد در اومده) نقش معشوق اورلاندو (يعنى خود روزاليند) رو بازى كنه و تا مى تونه بد رفتارى كنه، و با اين بهانه روزاليند فرصت پيدا مى كنه كه عشق اورلاندو رو محك بزنه. در همين حين، معشوقه ى يك جنگلبان روزاليند رو مى بينه و عاشقش مى شه.روزاليند بعد از اطمينان از عشق اورلاندو بهش مى گه: من فردا روزاليند رو پيش تو حاضر مى كنم.و به معشوقه ى جنگلبان مى گه: فردا اگر حاضر بودى با من ازدواج كنى، با تو ازدواج مى كنم، و اگر حاضر نبودى، بايد با جنگلبان ازدواج كنى.و فردا، به شكل اصلى خودش، يعنى روزاليند در مياد، معشوقه ى جنگلبان كه مى بينه معشوقش زنه، با جنگلبان ازدواج مى كنه، و اورلاندو هم به معشوق خودش مى رسه. (hide spoiler)]

  • Barry Pierce
    2019-05-08 03:22

    Monsieur Jaques, c’est moi.

  • Alexandra
    2019-04-21 20:25

    NepáčiAž tak ako by som čakala,no predsa v tom hĺbka občas bola,I melanchólia - tú mám ja radaalebo skôr jedného melancholika,Ale ba! Je v tom zrada...alebo skôr láska, a že koľkoLenže je času nemám toľkoRiešiť s nimi citové guláše,Raz to niekto zakážeA veru, ja si také pičoviny zakážem, načo to čítam, keď mám z toho len hlavybôl?Potom sa tu tvárim ako vôlMimoto , mám tu pre vás pozdrav Ktorý by bolo dobré počuť aj z hôrAlebo odo mňaA to: Zimná rozprávka je lepšia Tak choď čítať to.Ktoré to, to je už na tebe.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-05-20 23:22

    To celebrate William Shakespeare on his birthday in April, my plan was to locate a staging of six plays. I'll listen to and watch these on my MacBook, following along to as much of the original text as is incorporated by the production. Later, I'll read the entire play in the modern English version. A good friend I've had since high school recommended this system to me and it's been a very good system for delighting the mind in Shakespeare.As You Like It was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1600. Some scholars peg September 1598 - September 1599 as a time frame the play was written. It bears such resemblance to Thomas Lodge's prose romance Rosalynde, published in 1590, as to be considered an adaptation. Lodge's work featured characters named Rosalynde, Celia, Phebe, Silvius and Corin, while the characters of Touchstone, Jaques and Audrey were Shakespearean additions. An introductory remark in Lodge's text ("If you like it, so") points to where the Bard went for a title.The staging I chose was the BBC Television Shakespeare production from 1978 starring Helen Mirren as Rosalind. Shot on location around Glamis Castle in Scotland, most of the action takes place outdoors, and while the sound mix suffers if the actors turn their back to the camera, it was fun watching the cast incorporate a living forest into their performances. Mirren jumps out of a tree at one point. She's a natural comedienne and very funny when Rosalind disguises herself as a boy. Watching her swoon and sigh is a delight. I respond in kind whenever I watch any of Dame Mirren's early performances.Can material written over 400 years ago, in an age of candlepower and plague, be funny? Didn't The Three Stooges invent comedy, in the 1930s? Well, the plot of As You Like It reads more like any episode of Three's Company than any Shakespeare play I've read so far. The farce could be relocated to a Santa Monica apartment building with ease. I laughed with ease.At a French court, we meet Orlando, youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois. He toils in manual labor with the family's aging servant, Adam. A quick study and a young man of integrity, Orlando feels his education has been neglected under the care of his older brother, Oliver, who he challenges physically on the subject. Oliver maintains a baseless antagonism toward his younger brother and is paranoid that his subjects favor Orlando. He sees an opportunity to teach Orlando his place during a wrestling competition the welp has entered, advising the duke's champion not to take it easy on his impudent brother.The latest gossip surrounds Duke Frederick, usurper of the throne from its rightful owner, his brother, Duke Senior. Having been exiled, Duke Senior lives in the Forest of Arden, where several loyal lords have joined him. More merry men are venturing to lend their support to Duke Senior by the day. The volatile Duke Frederick has allowed his sharp-witted niece, Rosalind, to remain at court due to the bond she shares with her devoted and impetuous cousin, Celia. The girls often spar with Touchstone, the fool, who never misses an opportunity to cast a ribald comment their way.Rosalind and Celia attend the wrestling competition. Discovering that the poor Orlando is risking certain injury, the girls try to change his mind. But Orlando, powered by anger or love or both, defeats the duke's champion. This wins Rosalind's love, but makes the duke so furious that he banishes his niece. Celia suggests they run away together, heading for the Forest of Arden to find her father. Rosalind considers there might be dangers in that plan and due to her height, hits on the idea of disguising herself as a boy. Celia will remain a woman but go by the name "Aliena". Rosalind adopts the alias "Ganymede". Orlando finds himself in hot water with his brother, who Adam reveals might try to kill the boy if he stays at court any longer. Orlando and the old servant head for the forest. Meanwhile, Rosalind and Celia have been joined on their journey by Touchstone. They encounter an old shepherd, Corin, who's busy counseling a young shepherd, Silvius, over his romantic difficulties with the shepherdess Phoebe. Rosalind buys the cottage, pasture and flock which Corin works and settles in to country living, but misses her loverboy.Orlando reaches the camp of Duke Senior and his men, which includes Jaques, a melancholy lord who observes the woe of life from a remove, refusing all attempts to brighten his outlook. Orlando acts likewise, carving Rosalind's name into the area trees and posting love letters. Disguised as a boy, Rosalind offers to "cure" Orlando of his love by offering to role play the part of Rosalind. She enjoys this sport so much that Orlando gives Phoebe her counsel as well, but rather than improve her treatment of Silvius, the shepherdess falls in love with Rosalind.As You Like It is such a delight. The comedy doesn't have the clockwork precision of the mistaken identity affairs in Twelfth Night or the sexual dynamism and power of Much Ado About Nothing, but it is the funniest Shakespeare play of the three. The quips come flying like cafeteria items in a food fight.CELIA: Give me audience, good madam.ROSALIND: Proceed.CELIA: There lay he, stretched along like a wounded knight.ROSALIND: Though it be a pity to see such a sight, it well becomes the ground.CELIA: Cry "holla" to thy tongue, I prithee. It curvets unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.ROSALIND: Oh, ominous! He comes to kill my heart!CELIA: I would sing my song without a burden. Thou bring'st me out of tune.ROSALIND: Do you know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.CELIA: You bring me out.Rosalind, who I pictured as Uma Thurman personifying due to the character's height and Thurman's flair for goofiness, is an amorous character. Her relationship with Celia is a love affair; we can tell by how quickly Celia decides to run away rather than be separated from her cousin. Rosalind has not had her heart broken yet and to her, everyone should feel as she feels, freely and unabashedly, whether it be an obstinate shepherdess or a fool. Rosalind has the wits to carry this off.I also loved the way Shakespeare contrasts the politics of the court (city) with the tranquility of the forest (country). Touchstone, the fool, is great fun to watch use his poetical "wit" on Audrey, a simple country girl he's willing to marry to have a roll in the hay with. Jaques wanders through the play, immune to the call of the wild, feeling man has no business messing with nature. I didn't feel he was out to rain on everyone's parade as much as he was unable to be comfortable anywhere.I think that this play would be a great way to get in the mode before visiting a Renaissance Fair. Shakespeare made me want to find a switch to use as a sword and run into the woods, where I might try my poetical wit out on a shepherdess. In my experience, Renaissance Fairs seem to draw equally from fans of Camelot, Middle Earth and Shakespeare. The three worlds co-exist in hilarious ways, but certainly for the Shakespeare people, As You Like It would get you in the mood.Kenneth Branagh, our modern caretaker of the bard, adapted and directed a film version in 2006 starring Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind, David Oyelowo as Orlando, Kevin Kline as Jaques, Alfred Molina as Touchstone and Brian Blessed as the Duke Senior and Duke Frederick. The film is not currently available for rental on Netflix and before last week, I wasn't aware it even existed. The poster is terrific. If anyone's seen the Branagh version, I'd love to hear your thoughts.Joe's Current Ranking of Shakespeare Plays (From Most to Least Favorite):1) Hamlet2) Much Ado About Nothing3) Twelfth Night4) As You Like It5) Macbeth6) The Merchant of Venice7) Othello8) A Midsummer Night's Dream9) King Lear10) Romeo and Juliet11) The Taming of the Shrew12) The Tempest

  • David Sarkies
    2019-04-27 02:23

    A pastoral comedy with shades of Robin Hood24 December 2014 Back when I first read this play for university English I didn't think all that much of it because I had simply thrown it in with that collection of boring Shakespearian plays called 'The Comedy's' (not that I found all of the comedy's boring, just most of them because there were, in my opinion, simply romantic comedy's which me, as a young adult male, really didn't appreciate). However, it wasn't until later when the theatre group that a couple of my friend's were members of decided to put on a production of this play that my opinion of it changed (as well as coming to understand what my English lecturer was saying about it). In a way it seems that Shakespeare has taken a number of older poems (including a poem by Thomas Lodge called Rosalynde) and created what can be considered a pastoral play. The idea of the pastoral in Shakespeare's day is an idyllic country setting where the inhabitants live in peace and prosperity without the rigours of the daily city life of the political machinations that large groups of people inevitably create. In a way it is very much like our ideal of living in a country cottage with a white picket fence. It is the ideal lifestyle where one not only lives off the land, but lives a peaceful life in beautiful surroundings. This is illustrated in this play with the opening scene in the court of the local duke, who has just usurped the previous ruler (Duke Senior) and sent him into exile. The rest of the play is set in the mystical forest of Arden. There has been some debate as to were this forest is located, either being a forest near where Shakespeare's family lived, or whether he means the Ardennes in France. However I suspect that the forest of Arden is a picture of the pastoral world where one escapes the political machinations of the royal court, as is the case here. Duke Senior, upon being usurped from his throne, flees to the forest where, in a way, his authority is restored. The interesting thing that I have noticed is the similarities between Robin Hood and Duke Senoir. While the story of Robin Hood seems to change depending on which version you are reading, there is some similarities in that Robin Hood appears to have been a noble that had been dispossessed of his lands and he lived in a forest with his allies. Shakespeare even makes a direct connection between Duke Senior and Robin Hood within the play itself. However, the difference between this play and Robin Hood is that the Duke Senior plotline is actually more of a minor plot than the major plot, which involves Rosalind and her interaction with Orlando (though as Shakespeare is prone to do, he does weave these plots together quite seamlessly). The idea of gender was discussed heavily in my English subject namely because you see a single character playing multiple, and concurrent, gender roles. For instance, at one stage, Rosalind has four different gender identities – namely a boy would be playing Rosalind's character (because women were not allowed to act on stage at the time) who then pretends to be a boy as she flees from the Duke, and when she is in the forest, she then, as the boy in disguise, pretends to play herself (therefore we have a boy playing a girl, playing a boy, who in turn is playing a girl). However, unlike my university lecturer, I do not necessarily see Shakespeare exploring the role of gender but rather using the number of layers that is overlaid to create a very interesting scene. As with most of Shakespeare's romantic comedies, the comedy mostly revolves around the idea of courtship, where one party is trying to persuade the other party to marry them. However, there seems to be this idea of curing Orlando of the sickness of 'being in love'. I'm not sure if you can call it a sickness per se, however having been a teenager (and even a young adult) I can understand how 'being in love' can affect somebody, such us sitting down thinking of one's beloved and not being able to do anything else (which is the case with Orlando because he seems to spend his time carving love poems into the trees). The other interesting thing about this play is that I believe it is the play which has the most number of people getting married at the end (I believe there are four couples all getting married at once), and we even have the appearance of Hymen, the Roman God of marriage, to preside over the ceremony. However I note that the ceremony does not take place on stage, but off, probably because what we are seeing is in effect a pastoral wedding – one that is not held in a church but rather outside in a forest - and with the appearance of Hymen, suggests that maybe this is looking back at a more idealistic (and possibly pre-Christian) age where the rigours and struggles of the modern world have been left behind.I've actually seen this play twice (and really want to see it again). I have written blog posts on the play here and here.

  • Dominic
    2019-04-29 02:31

    When it comes to reading/viewing Shakespeare, I usually like mine cooked on the tragic side. I love a dark, brooding hero. I love Shakespearean angst. And it doesn't quite feel like Shakespeare if there aren't a few dead bodies strewn about the stage by the end of the fifth act.Yet it is oh so hard to resist Rosalind and the entire comedic premise of As You Like It. Instead of dark brooding, Rosalind offers jest and wit and freedom. She never whines or is somber, at least not for very long. She proves that life and humanity are far too malleable things to let them remain static and unchanging. If fact, since we are forever works in progress, the changes and transformations we make in life are what makes life a lot more fun (even though it is just as tempting sometimes to wallow in misery and melancholy). I've shared both viewpoints at different points of my life, and Rosalind has got it right! It makes much more sense to chase happiness and love than resist them or deny their existence. Even if we must bend the rules in order to achieve it, happiness is a much better thing to aspire to than pity. While we certainly must accept that there are things in our lives that we cannot change, we must also remember that we can always change ourselves.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-05-12 21:17

    As you like it, William ‎Shakespeare(1564-1616), c ‬1623Characters: Celia, Rosalind, TouchstoneAbstract: As you like it follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. عنوان1: «هرطور میل شما است»؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ برگردان: «فریده مهدوی دامغانی»، نشر: «اهواز؛ تیر، چاپ نخست 1378؛ در 148ص، شابک: ایکس-964658103»؛ موضوع: «نمایشنامه انگلیسی -- قرن 16 م»؛ چاپ دوم: 1388عنوان2: «هرطور که بخواهید»؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ برگردان: «اسماعیل دولتشاهی، عبدالعلی دست‌غیب»، نشر: «شیراز؛ نوید شیراز، چاپ نخست 1385؛ در 238 ص، شابک: ایکس-964358285»؛ موضوع: «نمایشنامه انگلیسی -- قرن 16 م»؛ ا. شربیانی

  • Bruce
    2019-04-27 03:24

    This play, one of my favorites, is an exploration of love using the contrasts between court and country, artifice and nature, guile and innocent simplicity. Various pairs of lovers are contrasted, the most important protagonist being Rosalind. The norm is blank verse, usually unrhymed. Gender roles are explored and exploited; for example, Rosalind, played of course in Elizabethan drama by a boy, masquerades in the play as a man with whom a woman falls in love and whom a man allows to pretend that he (she) is his woman love in order that he may practice wooing. If this seems confusing, this is just what Shakespeare intends, and these resultant confusions allow him to present multiple variations on courtship and love even as his characters can expand beyond their socially restricted gender roles. This play may contain more songs than any other of Shakespeare’s dramas, and most will be familiar to the reader since they have often been taken from the play and presented in a variety of contexts. Certainly this work is one of Shakespeare’s most delightful, a joy to experience.8/18/12In this my most recent reading of the play, I was especially interested in examining the images and understandings of nature that Shakespeare has provided. Near the play’s beginning, he compares the Forest of Ardenne, where Duke Senior has withdrawn in exile with his friends, with the “golden world” of mythical antiquity, and the characters are described as living there a carefree life. Corruption lies in town and in the court, freedom from care, from rancor and guile in nature. Rosalind and Celia view their flight to the forest to be a flight to liberty and not to banishment. Duke Senior sees nature as being harsh but honest, lacking the danger and deviousness of court and town, and he welcomes the immediacy and the lessons that nature provides. Yet there is also the recognition that man, by invading nature, somehow contaminates it and its rhythms.The forest is also the place of exchanged identities, and it frees the characters by giving each permission to assume the persona he might wish. Here one may construct a picture of whom one chooses and take on that identity, experimenting and trying one role after another; our usual fixed roles of “civilization” can be relinquished or at least hidden. A fresh freedom of speech and presentation is possible, and inconstancy of identity is permissible. It is the place of imagination and caprice, of fluidity and change, a place to see oneself and others with new eyes.Because of this, wilderness is the place where different characters and classes can mix and interact, distinctions being blurred. In a sense, in the state of nature the distinctions we make in society are obliterated, at least to some extent, making interactions possible that would have more limited opportunity back in customary society. Thus, in the fundamental unadorned state of nature, humankind is also stripped toward a more egalitarian sameness. But we carry our habitual self-understandings and biases with us, so this leveling can never be complete, and although in this place some unexpected marital alliances do occur, for the most part, when roles and lineages are revealed, “appropriate” matches at last happen.What might this tell us about our frequent yearning for nature, about our desire to leave, if only temporarily, the constraints of our usual more urban lives and be in more intimate and immediate contact with natural phenomena? Does it imply a desire to perceive ourselves a more a part of the natural world, a world without rankings and classes and humanly created artificiality? Or is “wilderness” a state of mind, a set of conceptual constructions that we imagine and then take with us into the wild? Maybe we need at least to imagine that there are places outside of humanly constructed reality where we can be more fundamentally ourselves. Why do we often find this healing? Perhaps because it allows us, if only for a time, to let go of the roles and anthropocentric assumptions that govern our usual daily lives.

  • Melora
    2019-05-04 01:21

    I waffled a bit between three and four stars with this, but honesty requires three to reflect my actual enjoyment. One of the better comedies, but there are only a few of those that I really like. I listened to the L.A. Theatre Works audio performance of this along with my reading, and, while the songs were beautifully done, Rosalind's emoting was irritating in its excess.

  • Ken Moten
    2019-05-12 22:36

    "I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good." Wow, okay. I am trying to wrap my feelings around this play. I liked this play, but make no mistake, this was not written for any reason but to earn a quick dollar or pound. The dialogue and speeches in this rom-com is standard Shakespeare, and I am glad because this plot is a weak recycle of one (and I think two) play(s). I am not a lover of romantic comedies, but I like Shakespearean language enough to indulge in his rom-coms. In my mind, The Bard needed cash to finance his play for the Feast of the Epiphany which he originally wrote under the working title What You Will. To get this cash, he wrote a shorter play that borrowed liberally from his earlier plays as well as his upcoming one. He managed to get this play wrote up and a few royalties later he finally came out with the play he wanted: Twelfth Night. [insert "All the world's a stage" monologue here] I mean as much as I chuckled at some of the dialogue, there was no effort put into this plot-wise (seriously had a character called Duke Senior....c'mon Will). Per usual, lots of silly people fell in love and as is the rule of the Shakespearean rom-com: EVERYONE YOUNG MUST GET MARRIED!! Jacques, the "All The Worlds A Stage" guy, seemed to be as lost and bemused about these shenanigans as I was (seriously he was leaning on the fourth wall throughout the play). Of course, this play was not meant to be real heavy on....reality so it has to be taken as is. Everyone is here to have fun, write poetry on trees, cross-dress, and get married. It says a lot about Shakespeare that his throwaway work is still performed today, but Ben Johnson and Christopher Marlowe--no such luck with their best work."Rosalind: It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you, and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you; and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women -- as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them -- that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell."

  • Manab
    2019-05-10 02:37

    খাসা বই।ঐদিন স্যামুয়েল জনসনেরে গাল দিচ্ছিলাম - জ্যাকসন না কিন্তু - জনসন, ডিকশনারী প্রণেতা সমালোচক জনসন, সে স্টার্নেরে কী বলে উড়ায়ে দিছে, এইসব নিয়ে কথা হচ্ছিলো, আমাদের প্রীতম দাস, বিএসসি, ঢাবি আঁতেল মজমার থিওরিমুনি জানাইলেন, এই লোক নাকী শেক্সপীয়ারের কমেডিরে তার ট্র্যাজেডির চেয়ে উত্তম বলছে! সাহস কত বড়!কত বড় এই সাহস?শেক্সপীয়ারের কমেডি আমি মূল সংস্করণে পড়ছি এর আগে দুইটা, টেম্পেস্ট আর টুয়েলফথ নাইট। টেম্পেস্ট ভালো লাগছে, বিস্ময়কর সুন্দর বই, ছবির মত উঠে আসে সব, অসাধারণ সব বাক্য ধরায়ে দেয়া চরিত্রদের মুখে, ফেরদিনান্দ আর মিরান্ডার চরিত্র বিকশিত হয় নাই, কারণ আসলে চরিত্র ত সেইখানে প্রস্পেরো। টুয়েলফথ নাইট ভালো লাগে নাই, ঐখানেও শেক্সপীয়ারের ভাষাগত ম্যাজিক জিভে ধাঁধা ধরাইছে মাঝে মাঝেই, কিন্তু চরিত্রগুলি কেমন দায়সারা কার্ডবোর্ড কার্ডবোর্ড।এই নাটকটারে আমি কী দিয়ে বিচার করবো? বা শেক্সপীয়ারের কমেডিরে?সবগুলো না পড়ে ত বলা কঠিন, কিন্তু এইটা মানতে হচ্ছে যে এই নাটকের কুশীলব বেশ দ্রুতই চরিত্র হিসেবে নিজেদের দাঁড় করায়ে ফেলে, প্রথম দুই অঙ্কের ভেতরেই। নাটকের বাক্যবাণ শুধু বাণ না, কখনো আচার কখনো পাটালি গূড় হয়ে বিরাজ করে, ফলে স্বাদ যেই তরফেরই হোক, গুণে মানে ভালো না হয়ে যায় নাই। এই নাটকের জ্যাকেস/জ্যাকুইজ একটু বহুল চর্বিত প্রশংসা পেয়ে থাকলেও এই প্রশংসা তার প্রাপ্য। প্রশংসা প্রাপ্য টাচস্টোনেরও, যদিও সমালোচকেরা তারে চায় না, অসাধারণ কয়ে যায় বাকীরাও।শেষটা আজকের অনেকের ভালো লাগবে না। কী এক দেবতা এসে কী সব বকে গেলো, সবাই সুখে শান্তিতে ঈমান ও আমলের সাথে ফরাসী কায়দায় বসবাস করতে আরম্ভ করলো, খল চরিত্রেরা একজন ভালো হয়ে গেলো প্রেমে পড়ে, আর আরেকজন ধর্ম্মকর্ম্মের নামে। এইসব আজকের পাঠকের ভালো লাগবে না, তাছাড়া এই নাটকে কোনো লম্বাচওড়া কাহিনী নাই, শেক্সপীয়ার উৎসের কাহিনীকে কদমছাঁট দিয়ে এটা লিখছেন , কোনো শ্লেষ নাই (যেমন ছিলো বেন জনসনের আলকেমিস্টে, দুর্দান্ত কমেডি ঐটা), এসবের হেতুই হয়ত আজকের পাঠকের মনে হয় যে শেক্সপীয়ারের এইসব কমেডি জাতের না।অথচ, কাহিনী নিয়ে ভাবনা বাদ দিলে, কী দুর্দান্ত পড়তে এই নাটক! ট্রাজেডি বা এপিক তার চাহিদায় পরিবর্তন আনে নাই, এখনো আপনি লোকজনের পথভ্রষ্টতার কথা বললে ম্যাকবেথই লেখেন, প্রতিশোধের গল্প এখনো ঐদিপাঊষ গূঢ়ৈষায় পা দেয়া মাত্র হ্যামলেট, আর বউরে বিশ্বাস না করা আমি আপনি ওথেলোই। যে কারণে হায়দার বা ওমকারা বানালে ভরদ্বাজের টাকা পুরস্কার কোনোটার কমতি থাকে না, কিন্তু কমেডি, কমেডি, স্ল্যাপস্টিক যেমন টিকে গেছে অনেকখানি, কালা কৌতুকের প্রসার বেড়েছে অনেক, কিন্তু ঐসব কমেডি, কিছু না ঘটা কমেডি, ভাত পাচ্ছে না বোধহয়, যে কারণে এত অনীহা, এইসব নাটকের প্রতি, আমার কিন্তু বেড়ে লাগছে, কাহিনী আরেকটু তড়তড় করলে এই উইটরে আর অবজ্ঞা করা যেতো না মনে হয়। আহ্‌, জ্যাকেসের যে কীসব ছুরি বের হয় মুখ দিয়ে, যেনো মাখন মাখায়ে কেউ শরীরটারে আলতো করে অগুণন টুকরা করে দিলো। এছাড়াও, ভূমিকাটা ভালো। একানব্বুই পাতার।

  • Ben
    2019-05-17 23:40

    This play has left me with more questions than pleasant emotions or kindly insights. Yes, one must credit Shakespeare with an entertaining "romantic comedy" but also chide him, just a bit, for leaving much to the audience member's disquiet. Rarely have I felt such a lack of resolution in such a neatly resolved story.I quickly lauded Shakespeare's literary construction around the concepts of Nature and Fortune and their relationship to each other. The play begins with a stage set with separation - particularly of Oliver and Orlando and of the Duke Frederick and Duke Senior. Fortune has divided each character respectfully in regards to the kingdom and fathers' will. Fortune, it would seem, guides the lives of these men while their nature simply reacts to their fortunes. Rosalind also finds herself in a similar plight - kept under the heel of her usurping Uncle but with the unwavering companionship of Celia, her cousin. Along with this separation of characters and of Nature from Fortune, Shakespeare symbolically pits Nature against Fortune via a symbolic wrestling match between Charles and Orlando. Yet with repetitive terms, such as "overthrowing", we can anticipate a reversal of circumstances. As the Duke Senior experiences banishment into the Forest of Arden, with Orlando and Rosalind to follow, we must notice how these characters, quite literally, leave their fortunes for Nature. In leaving their misfortunes behind for sanctuary in the forest, we may interpret that they begin to guide their lives according to Nature rather than Fortune.In Acts III and IV, sandwiched within the play, Shakespeare begins the folly and entertainment of love, between Silvius and Phebe, Touchstone and Audrey and Orlando and Rosalind. Phebe, who does not dote on Silvius, Touchstone, who behaves as a chauvinist man intent on Audrey's abuse, and Orlando who relents to the curing of love by a disguised Rosalind. Honestly, I found it all very silly. I cannot think of a better word. In nature, unburdened by concern for fortune with its impressing greed and fear - left simply with the quality of their characters - these people stumble about like fools with "fools" to teach them and mock them. Luckily, Shakespeare presents such characters as Duke Senior and Corin to keep the patron informed of the new environment mastered by human nature rather than circumstance. The usurped Duke wisely expounds on sweet uses of adversity in developing a person's nature and Corin explains to Touchstone of the simple exposure of man's nature as a laborer. In this new setting, Nature and Fortune begin to reconcile not as two things outside of a person but rather the same thing embodied within a person which develops a perspective on circumstances endured in the outside world. Worldly things do not determine the nature of someone's fortunes but rather their nature and perspective define those fortunes.However, as the play resolves, the questions begin bubbling like excited water. Honestly, I found the resolution extremely romantic - in the anti-Hemingway sense. Of course, Rosalind works for the coupling of the eight men and women using her best Shakespearean craft. But why the abrupt changes in the usurping Duke and Oliver, Orlando's brother? Shakespeare offers reasons but they seem completely unsatisfactory and out of character from what we know of them early in the play. Also, did Orlando know of Rosalind's deceit and play along? If so, why? Then, with the usurping Duke's conversion and the return of court fortunes to their "rightful" owners, one's suspension of disbelief snaps irreparably and the patron grimaces at the sudden and perfect arrangement of restored fortunes just when they anticipated a re-imagining of true fortunes to differ from their definition early in the play. While all of this seems excessively romantic and too perfect, one must remember Jaques and Touchstone. Jaques grows to appreciate the foolery of Touchstone and Touchstone may be the only one of the group who remains true to himself, though not a very respectable self, in nature and away from court. I think Jaques admires this and, in his melancholy, becomes the fool only in as much as he differs in countenance and philosophy from the others. As in all Shakespeare plays, the fool professes wisdom which often flies in the face of accepted truths and reasoning in popularly constructed social circumstances. Within this definition, both Touchstone and Jaques fit the bill. While Fortune and Nature seem to reconcile in the end, perhaps this enlightenment does not settle on Jaques who must journey on. But what are we to make of Jaques? Why did Shakespeare include him if our good money went to watch a silly play so we could feel good at romantic nonsense? Why does he offer little as to a back story on Jaques? Who is he? What were his circumstances? Why so melancholy? Why is he not of the disposition to appreciate a happy ending as the others? Like Jaques, I feel awkward and ultimately skeptical about the play's resolution - as if things unsaid haunt the good fortunes of things said and done. Perhaps Shakespeare couldn't stand to leave anything real out of his play.

  • Alan
    2019-05-15 22:33

    For environmental buffs, as well as theater fans, here 'tis: Shakespeare for jocks, especially wrestlers; Exile in the forest improves those banished, while the misanthropist Jacques gives the Bard's usual (midpoint in play) Great Speech, including the poetical description of babe in arms, "Mewling and puking," which I've quoted whenever someone says the author's too poetic for them:" All the world’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms."A play replete with mis-matched loves, Audrey and Touchstone the clown; an upside-down marriage scene, despite Hymen's attendance, etc. The Bard's rap-sex-doggerel, "If a hart do lack a hind,/ Let him seek out Rosalind/... Winter garments must be lined/ So must slender Rosalind..."

  • Terence
    2019-05-06 23:30

    I watched a version of this play set in 19th century Japan recently. I don't know why it was set in 19th century Japan since all the principals remained European and they all ended up in the Forest of Arden dressed like...well, 19th century Europeans.But it did prompt me to reread the actual play, and I found I enjoyed it much more on the second go around.(And despite my reservations about the setting, the video was pretty good, too.)

  • Giedre
    2019-04-26 22:23

    As it turns out, I quite liked it.

  • Vane J.
    2019-05-10 02:18

    I always try to write a review for every book I read, but Shakespeare makes it so difficult. I don't really know why. They're not complicated or dense books. I think what happens is that everything I want to say has already been said, so I feel as if my reviews are unnecessary. And what is the purpose of a review that has nothing to add?Anyway, so this one revolves around Rosalind. She's banished for no particular reason and she decides to go to the forest with Celia. Before that, a gentleman has already fallen in love with her, and that man is in trouble because his brother is angry with him for beating a man that was supposed to be invincible.That way, everyone in the play ends in the forest. Some shepherds appear and more love plots are introduced. A girl (Phebe) falls in love with Ganymede (Rosalind disguised as a man), Orlando (the gentleman in love with Rosalind) pretends Ganymede is Rosalind (which is true, but he doesn't know) to woo him, and so on.In the end, Ganymede (Rosalind) promises everybody is going to get married the next day with the person he/she pleases. And it happens. So happily ever after.This is the play that features one of the most famous of Shakespeare's monologues, that is, “All the world's a stage”:All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players.They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.Then, the whining school-boy with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier,Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws, and modern instances,And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon,With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.When I started reading this, I didn't know what is was about. Truth be told, of all of the Shakespeare's plays I've read, there are only been two that I knew about before reading them, and those were Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, but when I got to that monologue, a feeling of déjà vu—or rather, déjà entendu—started to spread all over me.I don't know where the hell I had listened to that monologue before reading this, but since I have memory, I've been repeating it to no end... because what it says is true, don't you think? The man who said that may have not played an important role, but he certainly had many powerful discourses.And this play did have a comedy feel into it, unlike some others, because there are some of Shakespeare's plays that are "comedies", but they also have a tragic touch at some part. This one is pure comedy. And I enjoyed it a lot.So well, maybe this review is not adding anything new, but I needed to share my opinion on this. And as all of Shakespeare's works, it's a must read for everyone.

  • midnightfaerie
    2019-04-25 21:34

    Click here for William Shakespeare Disclaimer As You Like It by William Shakespeare wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be. It started out in good form, similar to Much Ado About Nothing, my favorite Shakespearean play thus far, but then quickly fell flat for me. I thought it would be a little more about the Duke getting banished, but really this was just a side note for the various romances going on. I did enjoy the Rosalind dressing like a man and fooling her lover, as well as the wit and match making she did throughout the play. I looked forward to the ending with everyone being surprised with the unveiling, but there was hardly any climax compared to the build-up of the plot. Of course, once again, this could be attributed to the fact that we should not be reading Shakespeare, but viewing it, as it was intended and perhaps I could fall in love with the characters a bit more. Touchstone was a fine sideline as a fool and even though I had a hard time understanding all of his banter and references, after doing research and finding some understanding in his words, he was quite enjoyable. But my favorite part of the play was the epilogue, where Rosalind states the obvious when she asks, "Was this a good play? Probably not, but clap for me anyway!" And then makes a reference to the fact if she weren't a man, she'd be hitting on he men in the audience. (All characters back in the day were played by men.) Which is funny, I think, a man, pretending to be a woman that's pretending to be a man. Talk about an identity crisis. I saw a very bad version of the play on Netflix. It was somewhat modernized but bad acting and no scenery made it most boring and tedious to get through. If anyone has any recommendations on a good movie adaptation of this play, I'm all for it. In any case, it was a decent play, but not one of Shakespeare's best. But now I know which play the saying "All the world's a stage" comes from, so in that, I feel like I've gotten something out of

  • Liz Janet
    2019-05-13 23:22

    There is a forest, everyone in the forest falls in love, around four wedding happen. Also this awesome speech:“All the world's a stage,And all the men and women merely players;They have their exits and their entrances,And one man in his time plays many parts,His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.Then, the whining school-boy with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woeful balladMade to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier,Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws, and modern instances,And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered pantaloon,With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness and mere oblivion,Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”