Bill Kerwin's Reviews > As You Like It

As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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May 14, 15

it was amazing
bookshelves: 16th-17th-c-brit, tudor-drama
Read in December, 2010


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.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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David Sarkies In Midsummer Night's Dream, I saw the forest scene to be more of a dreamlike world. Shakespeare seems to take a different slant on the forest here, where while it is not a dream, it is a place of freedom where people can be themselves.


message 2: by Bill (last edited Dec 24, 2014 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill  Kerwin David wrote: "In Midsummer Night's Dream, I saw the forest scene to be more of a dreamlike world. Shakespeare seems to take a different slant on the forest here, where while it is not a dream, it is a place of f..."

I agree. There is a distinction. But both worlds are still special places where time seems to stop, and people achieve necessary knowledge through the suspension of custom and the relaxation of constraints.


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