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 remain unfulfilled.…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

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 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan