As You Like It

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare; Barbara A. Mowat (Editor); Paul Werstine (Editor)

Washington Square Press, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780743484862, 259pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2004

Description
Readers and audiences have long greeted "As You Like It" with delight. Its characters are brilliant conversationalists, including the princesses Rosalind and Celia and their Fool, Touchstone. Soon after Rosalind and Orlando meet and fall in love, the princesses and Touchstone go into exile in the Forest of Arden, where they find new conversational partners. Duke Frederick, younger brother to Duke Senior, has overthrown his brother and forced him to live homeless in the forest with his courtiers, including the cynical Jaques. Orlando, whose older brother Oliver plotted his death, has fled there, too.
Recent scholars have also grounded the play in the issues of its time. These include primogeniture, passing property from a father to his oldest son. "As You Like It" depicts intense conflict between brothers, exposing the human suffering that primogeniture entails. Another perspective concerns cross-dressing. Most of Orlando's courtship of Rosalind takes place while Rosalind is disguised as a man, Ganymede. At her urging, Orlando pretends that Ganymede is his beloved Rosalind. But as the epilogue reveals, the sixteenth-century actor playing Rosalind was male, following the practice of the time. In other words, a boy played a girl playing a boy pretending to be a girl.
The authoritative edition of "As You Like It" from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Susan Snyder
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.


About the Author
Arguably the greatest English-language playwright, William Shakespeare was a seventeenth-century writer and dramatist, and is known as the Bard of Avon. Under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I, he penned more than 30 plays, 154 sonnets, and numerous narrative poems and short verses. Equally accomplished in histories, tragedies, comedy, and romance, Shakespeare s most famous works include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, and As You Like It.

Like many of his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare began his career on the stage, eventually rising to become part-owner of Lord Chamberlain s Men, a popular dramatic company of his day, and of the storied Globe Theatre in London.

Extremely popular in his lifetime, Shakespeare s works continue to resonate more than three hundred years after his death. His plays are performed more often than any other playwright s, have been translated into every major language in the world, and are studied widely by scholars and students.



Mowat, Director of Academic Programs Folger Shakespeare Library.

Paul Werstine has spent his career teaching Shakespeare and Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at King's University College and in the Graduate Program of the University of Western Ontario. Among his teaching awards are the King's College Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2003 and awards from the graduating classes of 2003, 2007 and 2009. From 1981 9 he served as Associate Editor, with Editor Leeds Barroll, of Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England. He is co-editor, with Barbara A. Mowat, of the Folger Shakespeare Library edition of Shakespeare's plays and poems. He is also co-general editor, with Richard Knowles, of the Modern Language Association's New Variorum Shakespeare edition and particularly of The Winter's Tale (2005) and The Comedy of Errors (2011). He has written many articles about the early printings of Shakespeare, about the Shakespeare editorial tradition and about early modern dramatic manuscripts. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.