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Introduction & Overview of As You Like It by William Shakespeare

This Study Guide consists of approximately 248 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of As You Like It.
This section contains 211 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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As You Like It Summary & Study Guide Description

As You Like It Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Sources For Further Study and a Free Quiz on As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

Introduction

Commentators have described As You Like It as both a celebration of the spirit of pastoral romance and a satire of the pastoral ideal. Traditionally, a pastoral is a poem focusing on shepherds and rustic life; it first appeared as a literary form in the third century. The term itself is derived from the Latin word for shepherd, pastor. A pastoral consists of artificial and unnatural elements, for the shepherd characters often speak with courtly eloquence and appear in aristocratic dress. This poetic convention evolved over centuries until many of its features were incorporated into prose and drama. It was in these literary forms that pastoralism influenced English literature from about 1550 to 1750, most often as pastoral romance, a model featuring songs and characters with traditional pastoral names. Many of these elements manifest themselves in the commonly accepted source for Shakespeare's play, Thomas Lodge's popular pastoral novel Rosalynde, written in 1590. But by the time Shakespeare adapted Lodge's romance into As You Like It nearly a decade later, many pastoral themes were considered trite. As a result of these developments, Shakespeare treated pastoralism ambiguously in the comedy-it can be viewed as either an endorsement or a satire of the literary form-a method which is nowhere more evident than in the play's title.

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This section contains 211 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our As You Like It Study Guide
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As You Like It from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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