Presents Shakespeare's comedy about the romantic struggles of Rosalind and Orlando.
One of Shakespeare's early plays, written in 1598 or 1599, AS YOU LIKE IT is in many ways a typical Elizabethan romantic comedy, but it is also a satire in which Shakespeare ridicules many of the courtly-love conventions that were still current in his day: love as a disease, for example, and the lover as slave to his imperious mistress. In AS YOU LIKE IT, when these notions rear their heads, they are presented as silly absurdities. Orlando is in thrall to Rosalind, the simple shepherd Silvius is put through mental tortures by Phoebe--but ridiculing such formulaic excesses ("Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love") and keeping the play grounded in reality, Shakespeare reminds his audience that true love can bring happiness and is a force for good. In Jaques's famously acerbic soliloquy on the stages of a man's life (which end in a second childhood followed by oblivion), he speaks of the naturalness and inevitability of change--and as the characters in AS YOU LIKE IT enter the Forest of Arden, they undergo changes that will ultimately lead to a transformation in their attitudes. Embittered men are reunited with the brothers they loathed, the rightful Duke is returned to his throne, and four absurdly warring couples are reconciled. The forest provides--as it does in many plays of the period--a pastoral interval in which the characters come to their senses and return to the city better people. In the course of the play, despite its light-hearted tone, Shakespeare does tackle some difficult questions involving love, aging, nature, and the coming of death.
- Drama, Language + Art + Disciplines
- Shakespeare, General
- October 10, 2005
- October 10, 2005
- William Shakespeare
- Stephen Mangan (Narrator), Victoria Hamilton (Narrator), Arkangel Cast (Narrator), Niamh Cusack (Narrator)