William Shakespeare: As You Like It

(2809 words)
  • Alison Findlay (Lancaster University)

As You Like It is a seductive title. Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy appears to offer spectators and readers a utopian freedom of choice and satisfaction of desires. At the end of the play however, the Epilogue acknowledges the impossibility of fulfilling that promise. Rosalind invites female spectators to “like as much of this play as please you” according to how much love they bear men. Likewise, she hopes that male spectators who love women will find pleasure in it along with their female counterparts (ll. 9-13). Desires and satisfactions have been marshalled within limits: possibilities have inevitably been closed down within the course of the play, and the reader’s or audience’s desires may …

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Findlay, Alison. "As You Like It". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6527, accessed 04 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan