As You Like It (Penguin Shakespeare)
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As You Like It (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  45,357 ratings  ·  803 reviews
When Rosalind is banished by her uncle, who has usurped her father's throne, she flees to the Forest of Arden where her exiled father holds court. There, dressed as a boy to avoid discovery, she encounters the man she loves - now a fellow exile - and resolves to remain in disguise to test his feelings for her. A gloriously sunny comedy, As You Like It is an exuberant combi...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 2005 by Penguin (first published 1600)
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Madeline
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 bani...more
Jeanette
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,...more
Dominic
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...more
Killer Rabbit
I like it with cake from Shakespeare's Kitchen
Went to a Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival performance last night, and as usual, it was rather unorthodox. In this case, the AYLI characters had been re-spun into early 1900's variants. (You wouldn't think that having a barber shop quartet in this play could possibly work, but hearing them sing "Sweet Adeline Rosalind" was great fun.)

This was my younger daughter's first Shakespeare performance, and she had a good time. (Not just because she had yummy...more
Bruce
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 tha...more
midnightfaerie
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 a...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
I received this as a LibraryThing Early Reader book, in exchange for an honest review. The review and rating are specifically for that edition, to wit: As You Like It: A Frankly Annotated First Folio Edition.

(Warning – pretty much all the language I generally avoid in reviews up to now shows up here, en masse.)

Now, see, they teach this stuff in school. In high school. And the kids sit there bored out of their minds in class. Little do they know.

The idea behind this edition of Shakespeare's com...more
Bill  Kerwin

As in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Hamlet" amd "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 firs...more
Terence
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.)
Ezra
I know I know!!!!! Who really reads shakespeare in their independent time. Well that person is me, I had to read a comedy for one of my afterschool activity groups. This book had kind of faced me to give it a high rating but instead I decided to be honest and give the grade I thought it deserved. Now for a 15 year old Im sure reading this later in life will allow me to increase the grade that I have given it. But for now I will judge on/with the experience I do have. This book was about two cous...more
Holly
After reading Richard III and Othello recently, this light-hearted comedy seemed a bit tame. As You Like It is typically partnered with Twelfth Night, both known for their cross-dressing. As You Like It revolves around a Duke's banishment by his brother, forcing him into the Forest of Arden where its inhabitants realise the horrendous nature of the court, and the beauty and serenity of the forest, and nature itself.

Of course, Shakespeare's comedy would not be a comedy if it wasn't centred around...more
Amy
I've not yet read all of Shakespeare's plays, but I do not seem to care much for his plays about love, including Romeo and Juliet. So far, the only two exceptions to this have been The Taming of the Shrew and Love's Labour's Lost.

The problem I have with Shakespeare's love plays is that they are almost all too cloying, too simpleminded and simplistic, and they almost seem like juvenile depictions of love. Shakespeare can do the darker emotions like hate, jealousy, revenge, vanity, murderous ambit...more
Ahmad
As you like it, William ‎Shakespeare(1564-1616), c ‬1623
Characters: Celia, Rosalind, Touchstone
Abstract: 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 ۱۳۷۸؛ در 148ص، شابک: ایکس-964658103»؛ موضوع: «نمایشنامه انگلیسی -- قر...more
Nicholas Armstrong
I didn't. God dammit this was stupid. Even if I was a peasant from Shakespeare's era I don't see how I wouldn't have seen how ridiculous the plot of this was. How did the same guy who did Hamlet write this? All of the conflicts are resolved magically and ridiculously and the idea of a woman pretending to be a man so the man she loves won't notice her spying on him is pretty stupid. I get that Shakespeare liked the idea and the suspense created from such a thing but it doesn't make it any less st...more
Julie
Although required for my English Literature exam this year, it was still quite an enjoyable read. I find Shakespeare is much more enjoyable when studied than just read for pleasure personally because it's so darn hard to understand the language and the literary range the bard possesses without going into certain depth. It is most certainly a definite fit for my exam question's pastoral theme and was even quite comical. I would recommend going to see it at The Globe theatre after because it makes...more
Elizabeth Theiss
Shakespeare's power to delight has lost nothing to the years. Recovering from a flu gave me time to read and ruminate on the truths and follies of this lightest of comedies.

"All's brave that youth mounts and follies guide." Fair, brave Rosalind wins my heart anew with her adventurous spirit, witty repartee and passionate love for the besotted Orlando. At moments she seems hard-hearted as she doubts her lover's sincerity aloud: "men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not...more
Kelly
Jun 01, 2007 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare people, obvs
Been in it. Been through it. Over it. Twice. (Celia, in case you're wondering.) But loved it at the time! There's some hilarious scenes, and the famous "Seven Ages of Man" speech is in this play. Speaking from the perspective of an actress, Celia is one of my favorite Shakespearean women. (Rosalind's not bad either.) And who doesn't love genderbending plots?

Good fun!
Chrissy
I adored this! I think my fave part would have to be where Duke Senior says:

Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theater
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.


Definitely some wisdom to think about next time one is down.
Manny
I don't. I've never been able to figure out why!
Catherine  Mustread
Definitely my favorite Shakespeare romance but the history plays are still my favorite. Here are some notes and favorite parts:

Marjorie Garber’s perspective onAs You Like It

Touchstone is the personal equivalent of the forest, an index of human behavior and a way by which other characters come to confront themselves. Consider his answer to Corin’s innocent question ‘And how like you this shepherd’s life, Master Touchstone?’

Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect t...more
Billie Pritchett
I overheard an English professor yesterday say during his lecture that he doesn't like Shakespeare. Although he said it was considered almost sacrilegious for an English professor to say, his reasons were that Shakespeare relied heavily upon conventional settings and plot, neither of which this professor found imaginative, and because he felt Shakespeare's plays lacked emotional or intellectual depth. As You Like It is a play that uses similar settings as, for example, A Midsummer Night's Dream....more
Apps *ąþþℓεş щïŧɧ şþℓεεŋ ïş şҩųïşɧγ*
Uhh...I'm supposed to say something witty right? Or use really lyrical language with lotsa thy's and haths...funnily enough, all that come to mind are teen slangs of the modern day. Anyway, this was my first experience with Shakespeare. I did enjoy it immensely, but I'm sad to say that my patience wore thin by the time I was done with it. As a fan of the darker aspects of human tendencies, I was probably in the wrong for choosing to read a Shakespearean Comedy instead of a Tragedy, for what snip...more
Marti Martinson
Catty, campy, bitchy, and gender-bending. Think about it: in Elizabethan times, boys played womens' roles. Rosalind: played by a boy, playing a girl who pretends to be a boy, who then pretends to be a girl for the guy she likes. Twisted & funny, with lines like:

JAQUES
I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck
melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs.
More, I prithee, more.

Or this exchange:

JAQUES
God be wi' you: let's meet as little as we can.

ORLANDO
I do desire we may be better strang...more
Lynn
I found myself wandering a bookstore last Thursday and ended up in the Shakespeare section where I discovered these SparkNotes versions of the plays. They contain the original text on the left side, with a modern translation on the right.

I had an interest in Shakespeare when I was a student - I did an independent study in high school, and later took a Shakespeare course in college. I also made a regular trip to Stratford, Ontario to see a play or two each year for about a decade. But it's been a...more
Megha
WOW.... Absolutely brilliant.. ABSOLUTELY.. This is my firt Shakespeare.. i tried reading but never could concentrate totally.. And now that i finished it.. i was blown away.. My grandfather read Shakespeare.. He was my grandfather's favorite Writer and i thought well that's a drag.. How can i like something which my grandfather quoted??? And now am like WOW my grandfather has amazing taste. IT WAS AWESOME.. am not a fan of Poetry in particular but i mean no wonder He is still Quoted in everyday...more
Matt
This was OK. I saw Original Practice Shakespeare (a Comedy Sportz version) do this and it was very helpful to keep everything straight.
OK, look, I'm going to skip over reviewing this book and just talk about Original Practice Shakespeare: http://www.opsfest.org/about-ops.html
So, the actors memorize only their own lines. Then the day of the performance, that's the first day they put it all together. There's lots of improv, forgetting of lines, correcting by the referee, and this makes it that mu...more
Akemi G
Shakespeare (whether it was the "William Shakespeare" as we are taught to be or someone else) knew the true nature of this reality; that it is a form of simulation, similar to theater plays that he was so familiar with. The well-known quote, "All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players." comes from this one, and if my memory serves right, he makes similar comments in The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Macbeth.

This is reason enough to read his books, but...more
Pietro Coen
It’s not one of the best plays Shakespeare wrote, the plot is bonkers, somehow disconnected, and the ending is a bit lame and unlikely – but there are remarkable things about it. The epilogue he put at the end is intriguing, where one of the characters/actors asks forgiveness for its shortcomings: ‘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 charge you (...) to like as much of this play as please you’. Is the ti...more
Morgan Mcbride
Shakespeare wrote this book to give humor to a traditional love story. Love at first sight once again takes hold of two people within this story. Since they hid their love the female chooses to do a gender bender and become a guy until the wedding day. Along the way many other characters fall in love and plan to get married at the same exact place and time as the original first lovers.
The theme of this book is love. Shakespeare shows how when two people love each other they will do some pretty s...more
Virginia
"As you Like It" is an utterly complicated book on comedy, romance and slight drama, which is expected from a Shakespeare's play. We have many nice characters, who all fall in love by the end of the book, which was odd because even the main antagonist fell in love. I was surprised by this, but in a good way. It proves that even thought the antagonist is an antagonist, he's still human. The comedy ranges from high class comedy to low class, which is good because it appeals to tastes. In my opinio...more
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr...more
More about William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

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“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” 33775 likes
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