As You Like It, from the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays

As You Like It, from the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays

William Shakespeare

1623

London, England

Printed Book

As You Like It reshapes the romance tradition inherited from Lodge’s prose romance Rosalynde and, ultimately, the medieval romance Gamelyn, juxtaposing an ‘old’ romance plot of fraternal rivalry and exile with the ‘new’ romance and pastoral atmosphere of the Forest of Arden. The scenes on these pages negotiate that mingled heritage. They include Jaques’ theatrical meditation on the seven ages of man; Adam and Orlando, newly acclimatizing to Duke Senior’s gentlemanly court in exile; Duke Frederick and Oliver plotting revenge and usurpation; Orlando’s comic, touching efforts at a new poetry of love; Corin and Touchstone as pastoral philosophers; and as the confused reader of Orlando’s verses, Rosalind: a boy actor playing a young woman masquerading as a man. Gamelyn’s masculine, violent, political story has undergone a sea change here, into something rich and certainly strange, had its earliest audiences from the fourteenth century been able to see it.

Supporting Media

The Romance of the Middle Ages shows one of the Bodleian's two copies of the First Folio. In this video, Dr Emma Smith tells the story of the other.

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<em>As You Like It</em>, from the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays
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