HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PLAY
Introduction to Shakespeare
When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
That such trivial people should muse and thunder
In such lovely language.
D. H. Lawrence Quote (1885 - 1930)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Startford-on-Avon, in the country of Warwick. The third child and first son, William was christened on 26th April, 1564 in the parish chruch. His father, John Shakespeare, was a prosperous businessman. William got his education in a good grammer school. His father’s business failed due to neglect so William could not attend the University. At the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, the daughter of an old family friend and they had three children. The date of his arrival in London is not known but he was said to have been arrived there around 1592. A theatre company, ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men’, refounded in 1594, developed into London’s leading company. Shakespeare became an important member in it and this group later got the name, ‘King’s Men’. From 1599, this occupied the Globe Theatre and later in 1608 took over the Blackfriar’s monestry. Shakespearean plays performed here show the change in the stage conditions, having more scenery and lighting effects. Shakespeare, by his Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucerce, had earned considerable fame in 1594. The revival of classical drama brought about a change in the attitude of noblemen of that time. The theatre began to be attended by and the quality of the plays improved. In 1597, Shakespeare purchased ‘New Place’, an outstanding residential property. After acquiring a lot of property in Stratford, he retired to his house ih New Place. His career as a dramatist was over and The Tempest was his last play, written in 1611. On 23rd April, 1616, Shakespeare died and was buried in the altar of Stratford Church. As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 and first published in the First Folio, 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility.The play remains a favourite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre. PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND THEMES
The plot of As You Like It is complex and comprises of a number of interweaving plots. The inter-linking of plots has been done beautifully by Shakespeare. The characters have been fashioned and fit into incidents. ‘ As You Like It’ follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. The play features one of Shakespeare's most famous and oft-quoted speeches, "All the world's a stage", and is the origin of the phrase "too much of a good thing". Themes
The theme of envy, hatred, jealousy and conceit has been brought by Shakespeare with the help of Oliver and Duke Frederick. Oliver is envoius of his brother Orlando because although he treats him like a rustic he has all the good qualties in him which eclipse the qualities of Oliver.It is because he is jealous of Orlando, he hates him and tries to kill him. In the same way Duke Frederick is jealous of the popularity of Duke Senior and Rosalind. When he comes to know that it is because of Rosalind that the qualities of Celia are hidden, he decides to banish her as well. He had only kept Rosalind back because Celia could not stay without her. Loyalty,Love,Devotion
Adam is loyal to Orlando and loves him because he reminds him of Sir Rowland de Boys. He saves Orlando’s life by helping him escape from the trap laid by Oliver to take his life. Adam also offers Orlando his life savings and his service although he is very old. Duke Senior also has some followers who willingly follow the Duke to banishment. Love and devotion is also...