As You Like It

As You Like It

William Shakespeare


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As You Like It (1599) is a comedy by William Shakespeare. As You Like It was probably inspired by Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynd, Euphues Golden Legacie (1587), a story based on “The Tale of Gamelyn,” a Middle English romance. For its deconstruction of traditional gender roles and depiction of homoeroticism, As You Like It remains an important and frequently performed play in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. “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…” For his wit and wordplay alone, William Shakespeare is often considered the greatest writer to ever work in the English language. Where he truly triumphs, however, is in his ability to portray complex human emotions, how these emotions contribute to relationships, and how these relationships interact with politics, culture, and religion. When Frederick exiles the Duke and usurps his throne, he allows his daughter Rosalind to remain due to her close friendship with his daughter Celia. When Rosalind is blamed for a conflict between brothers Oliver and Orlando, Frederick banishes her from the duchy. Determined to remain together, the two friends disguise themselves and, joined by the court jester Touchstone, flee for the Forest of Arden. There, Rosalind—in the guise of Ganymede—and Celia—as Aliena—attempt to survive through the kindness of strangers and old acquaintances alike. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.


William Shakespeare:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, he was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and glove-maker, and Mary Arden, a woman from a wealthy family. Likely educated at the King’s New School, he would have studied Latin in his youth. At eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, then twenty-six. Together, they raised three children—Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. By 1892, several of his early plays had appeared on stage in London. These works, including Richard III and Henry VI, show the influence of Elizabethan dramatists Thomas Kyd and Christopher Marlowe. He then found success with a series of comedies, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night. By the late 1590s, Shakespeare wrote two of his finest tragedies, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, proving his talent and thematic versatility. The beginning of the 17th century marked a turn in his work, ushering in an era often considered his darkest and most productive. Between 1600 and 1606, he produced such masterpieces as Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear, all of which are undoubtedly some of the finest works ever written in the English language. In addition to his 39 plays, many of which were performed by his own company at the legendary Globe Theatre, Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and three long poems, many of which continue to be read around the world.