TeacherMrLoria's Reviews > As You Like It

As You Like It by William Shakespeare
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Apr 14, 11

Read in April, 2011

O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man´s eyes

The pursuit of happiness, the search for the princess, is full of challenges. Sometimes you´re rocking life, sometimes it´s rocking you, and so it goes. Funny that I finish a play that celebrates the ridiculousness of love as my world begins to turn upside down. This play celebrates the absurdity of love, the theatre of life, and the mystique of places outside the confines of society all themes which are screaming in my ears these days.
Allow me to explain. The play begins with a joyful rebellion. Characters are banished but they embrace their new found freedom outside of society and head to the forest. Just like in real life, once they are in this different place, differences and arguments melt away and characters become more authentic. Outside the strict confines of society, they are allowed to be more true to themselves, whether that means walking around in a Waldenesque state of awe or exploring sexuality.
The forest setting very much matters, and we see how characters that are raised in it are different and those that are visitors assume a more civil disposition outside of society. As a man who flees from society often, I agree completely with this point. Society is great, human company is great, but when we reconnect with our mama earth everything changes. Interesting to see this take place in this play.
Though characters find a kind of inner peace in the forest, and they fall in love left and right, eventually they must return to society. The play ends with them doing so, and you wonder if they can keep that fire alive back there. Another interesting point this play makes is in love, characters instantly fall in love with people and do crazy things. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I wonder after reading this place if love at first sight is simply a convention. Is it a perpetuated myth or a rare reality? I suppose only experience will tell.
A damn good play. Shakespeare at his finest. Profound while making you laugh. Amen brother.

Quotes
The spirit of my father, which I think within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. 1.1.36
Were thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other hand had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself. 1.1.67
{If you kill me} I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the world no injury, for in it I have nothing: only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. 1.1.363
Thus do all traitors: If their purgation did consist in words, They are as innocent as grace itself: Let it suffice I trust thee not.
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor. 1.3.23
{Two women characters worried about running away} Beauty provokes thieves sooner than gold. 1. 3.299
Now go we in content to liberty and not to banishment. 1.3.449
Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in everything. I would not change it. 2.1.7
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. 2.7.179
Those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviors of the country is most mockable at court. 3.2.27
Sir, I am a true labourer: 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, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck. 3.2.100
Will you sit down with me? And we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery. 3.2.48
O come, let us remove: The sight of lovers feedeth those in love. 3.4.58
I am falswer than vows made in wine. 3.5.76
A traveler! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men´s: then, to have seen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.
Yes, I have gained experience.
And your experience makes you sad. 4.1.17
O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man´s eyes. 5.2.35
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