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CliffsNotes AP English Language and Composition With an Conceive your thesis statement, which will go in your introductory paragraph. Organize your body.

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Act 2, Scene 5. Act 2, Scene 6. Act 2, Scene 7. Act 3, Scene 1. Act 3, Scene 2. Act 3, Scene 3. Act 3, Scene 4. Act 3, Scene 5. Act 4, Scene 1. Act 4, Scene 2. Act 4, Scene 3. Act 5, Scene 1. Act 5, Scene 2. Act 5, Scene 3. Act 5, Scene 4. Free Quiz. Character Studies. Modern Connections. Critical Essay 1.

As You Like It - A Critical Analysis of Act 1

Critical Essay 2. Earth, Milky Way: punctum books, ISBN DOI: Imprint: Dead Letter Office.


Instead, it repeatedly poses one question in a variety of forms: What if the world were other than it is? As You Like It is a set of experiments in which its characters conditionally change an aspect of their world and see what comes of it: what if I were not a girl but a man? What if I were not a duke, but someone like Robin Hood? What if I were a deer? It releases force even if the force is not that of what is the case. In Anna Jameson's words, she displays an exquisitely blended and volatile "compound of esssences.

Indeed, Rosalind quickly rises to become, for the nineteenth century as a whole, a shining example of the Shakespearean romantic heroine. Touchstone comes to be appreciated as a "personification of caprice and ridicule" who shares Jaques's perception of human failings but with a fool's "capricious folly and foolish capriciousness" Ulrici, For Nathan Drake, "There is something inexpressibly wild and interesting both in the characters and in the scenery" , 2.

In Hazitt's view, "The very air of the place seems to breathe a spirit of philosophical poetry; to stir the thoughts, to touch the heart with pity, as the drowsy forest rustles to the sighing gale" , AYL is, to Hazlitt, "the most ideal of any of this author's plays" August W.

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Here indeed is a call to Romantic idealism about liberty and freedom of the human spirit. Shakespeare's disregard for the classical "laws" of dramatic composition, for which he was faulted by Francis Gentleman, above, now becomes a positive feature of his writing.

William Maginn, writing in , answers those who object to a tropical lion and snake in Arden as violating concepts of decorum and plausibility by celebrating AYL 's imaginative genius. Charles Knight concurs: "We most heartily wish that the critics would allow poetry to have its own geography" , Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke, in their edition of , stress the literary and generic features of the Forest of Arden: it "represents a poetical forest generally, where lovers, dukes, lords, shepherds, jesters, natural philosophers and artificial philosophers, lions and lambs, serpents and goats, oaks and olives, palm-trees and osiers, may all flourish contentedly and plausibly, without disturbing the peace of those whose imaginations accept the truths of poetry as universal truth, not mere geographical, animal, or botanical literalities.

The moral contrast of country and court is edifyingly plain.

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Values of generosity, forbearance, good nature, honesty, and chaste if romantic affection help define Shakespeare as an unholder of decency and idealism. Despite a few sly sexual double entendres, offered espcially by Touchstone, AYL is seen as good innocent entertainment well suited to Dr. Thomas Bowdler's Family Shakespeare. Shakespeare's "moral lesson" is to be collected not out of sermonizing but "out of his incidents and characters.

After all, Shakespeare grew up in bucolic Stratford-upon-Avon, and his mother's family name was Arden.

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To Grace Latham , "The underlying thought in the play is this struggle between good and evil. Wurtzburg insists that "The deep truths that may be gathered from this play of As You Like It are the innate dignity of the human soul,.

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Rosalind ceaselessly delights readers with her complementary qualities of adventurousness and sagacity, mischivousness and tenderness, sense of humor and romantic passion, courage and weakness. We bask in her wit, say the Clarkes in Rosalind manages somehow to be feminine and modest even in her man's attire. She is especially winsome in her manner of deflating the coquettishness that is so often attributed to her sex Helena Faucit Martin, , Male critics tend to appreciate Rosalind's robust beauty and charm together with the absence of Beatrice's sharp edge.

Rosalind is, for Richard G. White, "the most charming, the most captivating, of all Shakespeare's women" , Women like Helena Martin are drawn to Rosalind because she is so unhampered by claptrap romantic illusions about falling in love. Rosalind has good reason to hope, then, as she says in her epilogue, "that betweeen you [the men] and the women the play may please.

Such, in Georg Gervinus's view, is the reason for Jaques's ill humor, making this "witty and sententious worldling far more of a rude fault-finder than a contented sufferer like the rest. Hyppolite-Adolphe Taine , trans. He is sad because he is tender; he feels the contact of things too keenly, and what leaves the rest indifferent, makes him weep.

He is fully as interested in the clownish courtship of Touchstone and Audrey as he is interested in that of Orlando and Rosalind. Though these critics disagree as to whether Shakespeare meant Jaques to be sympathetic, their critical approaches are similarly that of the nineteenth century in their devotion to the art of character study aimed at calibrating the moral and ethical purpose of the character sketch.

As You Like It: Critical Reception :: Internet Shakespeare Editions

To Charles Clarke , 54ff. Touchstone is the sort of sweet-natured person who is "able to make himself happy and contented wherever fortune chances to cast him. He is gay and easy at court; -- he is good tempered and at ease in the forest. Hall , ff. Smith ed. Even its villains are not incorrigible. One particularly insightful book in this vein is Robert G.

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Hunter's Shakespeare and the Comedy of Forgiveness Hunter defines the "comedy of forgiveness" as a sub-genre of romantic comedy, one in which forgiveness is at the heart of the plot and the theatrical experience of the play. AYL amply fits the definition; forgiveness is the key to the play's resolution. This idea gives us insight into the characters of the villains, Oliver and Duke Frederick: both are envious of their more virtuous brothers at the start of the play, and both would be more like those brothers if they knew how.

The forest improbably, almost magically, shows them the way. Their embracing of the very qualities they have stood out against is sudden because the experience of conversion is appropriately sudden: they see the light, won to virtue by the charitable ways of forest life that the play has invited us to admire. Arthur Quiller-Couch ed.

One line of revisionist investigation has been to look closely at what is far from idyllic in Arden. Charlton , ff. Winter, rough weather, the season's differences,s the icy fang and churlish chiding of the winter's wind invade Arden as often as they invade this hemisphere of ours. Dover Wilson warns us not to miss "the vein of mockery that runs throughout," manifesting itself in the portrait of an aged servant Adam about to perish from hunger, or of Oliver, arriving in the forest 'footsore, in rags, and so dog-tired that when he falls asleep even a snake coiling about his throat is not able to wake him.

Edward A. Armstrong , , 12ff.