As You Like It Fun Facts

Here are some fun and interesting facts about Shakespeare's play "As You Like It"

1. Cross-Dressing and Gender Identity: The play is famous for its exploration of gender identity and cross-dressing. The main character, Rosalind, disguises herself as a young man named Ganymede. This leads to complex layers of gender and identity, especially considering that in Shakespeare's time, male actors played all roles, including female characters.

2. Famous Quotes: "As You Like It" contains several of Shakespeare's most famous lines, including the well-known "All the world's a stage" speech delivered by the melancholic Jaques. This speech includes the line "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

3. Pastoral Comedy: The play is classified as a pastoral comedy, a genre that idealizes rural life and nature as a contrast to the corruption and complexity of court life. Much of the action takes place in the Forest of Arden, a setting that offers characters freedom and a place for transformation.

4. Diverse Characters: The play features a wide range of characters from various social backgrounds, including nobles, shepherds, and clowns. This mix of characters allows Shakespeare to explore different perspectives and social commentary.

5. Rosalind's Lengthy Role: Rosalind is one of Shakespeare's longest female roles. She has more lines than any other female character in Shakespeare's works. Her intelligence, wit, and charm make her a standout figure in the Shakespearean canon.

6. Multiple Marriages: The play concludes with a happy ending that features multiple marriages. Four couples get married at the end: Rosalind and Orlando, Celia and Oliver, Touchstone and Audrey, and Phoebe and Silvius.

7. Literary Source: Shakespeare drew inspiration for "As You Like It" from Thomas Lodge's prose romance "Rosalynde," published in 1590. While Shakespeare made significant changes and additions, the basic plot and characters were borrowed from Lodge's work.

8. Forest of Arden: The Forest of Arden is both a real and fictional place. Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, came from a family living in the Arden area in Warwickshire, England. However, the Forest of Arden in the play also has elements of the Ardennes, a forest region in France, blending reality with imagination.

9. Comic Relief: Touchstone, the court jester, provides much of the comic relief in the play. His witty and often bawdy humor adds to the play's lighthearted tone and contrasts with the more serious themes.

10. Musical Elements: "As You Like It" includes several songs, making it one of Shakespeare's more musical plays. These songs contribute to the pastoral atmosphere and often reflect the themes of love and nature.

These aspects contribute to the enduring popularity and rich complexity of "As You Like It," making it a favorite among Shakespearean comedies.