Tag Archives: As You Like It

Rosalind: A Bolster of the Gender Binary

The re-arrangement of gender roles in Shakespeare’s As You Like It speaks to the clear differences between gender and sexuality normativity. With regards to gender, the play utilizes a clear binary- male or female. There are two genders, and gender is not a social construct of Shakespeare’s time, rather directly linked to an individual’s sex. The spectrum of sexuality in the play however, is more fluid and not, like gender, boxed into a binary. While the couples in the play will end as heterosexual pairs, the play allows for differences from the so-called norm with different characters expressing their sexuality.

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The Cornucopia of Power: How Horns Expose Power Dynamics

Shakespeare often exploits the semantic range of a word to achieve crude humor; it has been said – all the world’s a dick joke. In most cases, there are many layers to the word or phrase in question, but the variable meaning is often brought to light at first by an underlying dirty joke. That was the case while reading As You Like It. “The horn, the horn, the lustful horn” (4.2.19) seemed clearly to be a pun on a male’s certain lusty horn. As with all things Shakespeare, there is more underlying than the two most obvious meanings. Continue reading

The Reality of Utopias

Who wins a war in a perfect world, and who emerges as king? Is there war in your perfect world so you can always be the victor? And what would the soldiers loyal to your opponent say – in this perfect world? And what would their mothers say after the defeat with a flag in place of a child, living in your “Eutopia”? Continue reading

Wrestling in As You Like It

Cynthia Marshall discusses the wrestling scene of As You Like It as it plays into the school of thought that the play is not one of simple light-hearted comedy. As lenses such as feminism and the questioning of social statuses are introduced into scholarly dialogue, the heavier themes of Shakespeare are being extrapolated  (Marshall 265). The themes of fratricide and the anxiety of fissures within families, social implications of lineage and gender stability can be explored through interpretations of the wrestling match. The wrestling match also brings to light the idea of the lines between reality and performance blurring in a way that brings the anxieties of the play closer to the audience. Continue reading

Shield of Ganymede

In an analysis of her own performance as Rosalind in As You Like It, Juliet Stevenson offers up some insight into the role that gave one particular scene a new meaning to me.  The scene in question is act 4 scene 1, wherein Orlando has just returned to Rosalind, whom he still believes to be Ganymede.   What I found notable about Stevenson’s take on Ganymede is that he is not simply a pseudonym being used by Rosalind in this scene, but instead a device she uses to protect herself, turning it on and off at will.  Continue reading

ALL THE WORLD’S A MALL: The 80s Are Back!

IF SHAKESPEARE WERE ALIVE TODAY, HE WOULD HAVE WRITTEN LIKE THIS.” The score … would be chart-climbers if this were a time when show tunes still climbed charts. -David Finkle, theatremania.com



What happens when you mix the classic William Shakespeare comedy of As You Like It with the wildly popular genre of music and culture of John Hughes’ 1980s films?

The result is a new and exciting musical adventure centered on the coolest locale of the time… the Robin Sparkles-esque 1980s mall scene.

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The virtue in “If”

Nothing makes for a motivational quote quite like a good conditional.

“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

“If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” -Marilyn Monroe (?)

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”  -Bernard Shaw

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Mr. Melancholy

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a comedy with much cause for melancholy. Orlando rightly resents the problems he incurs because of primogeniture. Despite being born into nobility, Orlando is left penniless and uneducated as he is not the eldest son of his father, Sir Rowland de Boys. Duke Senior, who shows no signs of distress at his situation throughout the play, has been banished by his younger brother who usurped Senior’s birthright to the family wealth, land, and power. Rosalind, as Duke Senior’s daughter, is also banished from her home and left hapless. These characters all have due reason to lament their fortunes, however, none are quite so melancholy as Jacques. Continue reading