William Shakespeare's As You Like It in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > As You Like It

As You Like It

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

As You Like It Play

As You Like It begins with a betrayal. In the first act, Duke Frederick replaces his older brother Duke Senior, banishing him to the forest of Arden. Duke Seniors' daughter Rosalind stays with Duke Frederick's only daughter Celia until Duke Frederick banishes her too, fearing the people love Rosalind more than Celia. Orlando is the youngest son of Sir Rowland, seemingly a good thing except his elder brother Oliver has denied him the education and the wealth he deserves. Duke Frederick and Oliver hope to see the last of Orlando at a wrestling match but instead Orlando wins, Rosalind falling in love with Orlando. Rosalind flees into Arden, Celia loyally joining her. Tipped off that Oliver wants Orlando dead, Orlando too flees to Arden. Duke Frederick threatens Oliver with the loss of all he has should he not find Orlando, Celia and Rosalind.

In Arden, Celia and Rosalind pretend to be the men Ganymede and Aliena, meeting Touchstone, an irreverent clown. They buy a flock of sheep, a hut and some land from shepards Corin and Silvius. We hear of Jacques, a man with permanent melancholy from Duke Senior. Orlando, now in the forest and hungry demands food from Duke Senior and his followers, only to be offered it warmly. Smitten with Rosalind, and knowing she is in Arden somewhere, Orlando resorts to carving her name on trees and hanging love poems from them. Rosalind finds these and still disguised, asks Orlando how he truly feels about her. Ganymede decides to help Orlando be cured of his lovesickness. This backfires, Orlando only loving Rosalind more, Rosalind too falling more and more in love.

Rosalind watches the romance between the Silvius and the fair Phoebe unfold, Phoebe being quite rude towards Silvius. Seeing this injustice, Ganymede tells Phoebe that she really is not that fair, inadvertantly making Phoebe fall in love with her! Receiving a love letter from Phoebe, Ganymede (Rosalind in disguise) resolves to help Silvius.

Elsewhere in Arden Oliver is nearly killed by a lioness but is saved by Orlando, the two brothers ending their feud. Oliver has fallen in love with Celia and will marry the next day. Orlando laments that he cannot marry Rosalind but Ganymede promises to make this true through magic. At Oliver and Celia's wedding, Ganymede is revealed to be Rosalind, delighting Orlando. Silvius will marry Phoebe since she no longer loves nor wants to marry Ganymede, now a woman! Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phoebe and Touchstone and Audrey are all married. We learn a hermit changes Frederick for the better and now all exiled are welcomed back to their estates. The play ends with Jacques wanting no matter in these festivities...


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V, Scene VI, Scene VII

Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V

Act IV
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards