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As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

In prep for my AYLI callback tomorrow I re-read the play and it brought back so many memories from when I did the show a few years ago (click link above for a photo!). I think this play is hilarious (and the people who were sitting next to me on the subway today know that I feel this way also).

I think why I like the play so much is because there are moments in the play that border on the farcical and yet it is so full of heart. The women in the play really take charge of their own destinies and create such a positive energy that you can't help but fall in love with them. Celia says to Rosalind as they are leaving for the forest:
Now go we in content/ To liberty, and not to banishment. 
For the two of them, the forest of Arden represents a new life, where they are free to be anyone they desire. No longer are they tied down to the will of the men in their lives, their respective fathers. They bring along a man - Touchstone - who serves as entertainment and possible protection, for as Rosalind says, "Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold," but he is certainly not a figure of authority. He spends most of the time either complaining or off pursuing a love of his own. In his own words:
We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all in mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
No one feels the irony of this more than Rosalind, as she spends her time as her alter-ego Ganymede and woos her own lover through this disguise, whether he knows it or not. The comedy of these scenes can be dialed up or down, depending on the production, but anytime you've got cross-dressing and false identities mixing with raging hormones and lovesick romeos you're bound to get some laughs.

My absolute favorite line in the show comes from the "melancholy Jacques"... he says as he exits:
I'll go sleep if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.

Something struck me for the first time as I was reading this today.. in the scene when Rosalind is lamenting the fact that Orlando is late (which scene you ask? she does that an awful lot! touche.) she complains to Celia that:
His very hair is of the dissembling color.
The note reads: "dissembling color: ie, reddish, the traditional color of Judas' hair." How interesting! A, that Judas was thought to be a redhead, since I think I've always thought of him/seen him with dark hair.. and B, that red hair was thought to be deceptive. I don't think this is a stereotype that is still true today.. deceptive/untrustworthy people are often portrayed with very dark hair, since dark colors are more shady/badass. Anyway, it's a small thing, but it stuck out to me.

I leave you with a wise saw from our friend Touchstone:
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Wednesday Play-a-day: The Wall of Water by Sherry Kramer

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