A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classic Edition

Topics: Love, William Shakespeare / Pages: 47 (11733 words) / Published: Apr 22nd, 2011
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.

S E R I E S

E D I T O R S :

W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D., ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D.,

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS

and
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED

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

2

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

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