A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s as You Like It

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A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S

AS YOU LIKE IT
By JEANNE M. McGLINN, Ph.D., AND JAMES E. McGLINN, Ed.D.

SERIES

W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D.,

EDITORS:

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS

and

ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D.,

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED

A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It

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INTRODUCTION
Shakespeare seems to be everywhere these days. Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream, starring contemporary movie stars, have been box office hits. The film Shakespeare in Love, depicting how the playwright's experiences inspired him to write Romeo and Juliet, won multiple Oscars at the 1999 Academy Awards. These popular films have made the plays more accessible to students by exposing them to Elizabethan language and the action that brings the words to life. So teachers can expect a certain amount of positive interest among students when they begin to read a Shakespearean play. As You Like It, although not well known by students, will certainly delight and build on students' positive expectations. As You Like It, like Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream, is one of Shakespeare's "marriage" comedies in which love's complications end in recognition of the true identity of the lovers and celebration in marriage. This is a pattern still followed in today's romantic comedies. This play can lead to discussions of the nature of true love versus romantic love. Other themes, which spin off from the duality between the real and unreal, include appearance versus reality, nature versus fortune, and court life of sophisticated manners contrasted with the natural life. All of these ideas are within students' experiences allowing for immediate responses and interesting discussions. This guide includes a variety of activities and discussion questions to stimulate students' reactions and responses to the play before they begin to read, while they are reading, and after they have read the play. Teachers should choose the activities which best meet students' needs and interests. L I S T O F C H A R A C T E R S B Y R E L AT I O N S H I P

THE COURT:
Duke Frederick
Celia
Rosalind
Touchstone

Usurped the throne from Duke Senior
Daughter of Duke Frederick
Cousin to Celia, niece to Duke Frederick, daughter to Duke Senior Clown of the court

SONS OF SIR ROWLAND DE BOYS:
Oliver
Jaques
Orlando
Adam

Eldest son
Middle Son who appears in the final scene
Youngest son who loves Rosalind
Servant to Oliver who follows Orlando to Arden

FOREST OF ARDEN:
Duke Senior
Amiens and Jaques
Aliena
Ganymede
Corin and Silvius
Phebe
Audrey

Eldest brother of Duke Frederick
Two Lords attending Duke Senior
Celia's name in Arden
Rosalind's name in Arden
Two shepherds
Shepherdess Silvius loves
Country girl Touchstone loves

S Y N O P S I S O F T H E P L AY

ACT I, SCENE I
As the play begins Orlando complains about his brother's failure to give him the education that befits his station in life as a gentleman. In this opening, Shakespeare introduces themes of nature versus fortune and appearance versus reality. When Oliver, the older brother, comes out to speak with Orlando, they quarrel and fight. Oliver strikes Orlando, and

A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It

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Orlando grabs him by the throat. Adam, an old servant of the family, steps between the two brothers, and is called an "old dog" by Oliver for his pains. Orlando demands either to be allowed to live as a gentleman or to receive his inheritance so he can seek his fortune in the world. Oliver hopes to get rid of Orlando and keep the inheritance by inciting Orlando to fight the Duke's expert wrestler, Charles, at court. When Charles warns Oliver to keep his brother at home, Oliver slanders Orlando, saying he's stubborn and foolhardy and will be a menace to Charles unless he is...
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