home contact

As You Like It

Please see the bottom of each scene for full explanatory notes and study questions.
Please see the bottom of this page for additional helpful resources.

Next: As You Like It, List of Characters


Related Articles

 As You Like It: Questions and Answers
 Famous Quotations from As You Like It
 Shakespeare's Sources for As You Like It

 Portraits of Human Virtue: the Characters in Shakespeare's As You Like It
 The Shakespeare Sisterhood Gallery: Rosalind
 The Trouble of Rosalind's Disguise

 Shakespeare's Second Period: Exploring As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet
 Theatrical Allusions in As You Like It
 Dutiful Daughters, Willful Nieces: Empowerment of Women in Shakespearean Comedy

Jaques? How to Pronounce the Names in As You Like It
 Shakespeare's Fools: Touchstone
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes

 Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
 Why Study Shakespeare?
 Quotations About William Shakespeare

 Shakespeare's Boss
 Play Chronology
 Shakespeare Characters A to Z
 A Shakespeare Glossary
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes

In the Spotlight

Quote in Context

microsoft imagesWhen a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a
man's good wit seconded with the forward child
Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a
great reckoning in a little room.
                                            As You Like It (3.3), Touchstone

On the surface Touchstone is saying that not to have one's wit understood by others is worse than a big bill (reckoning) in a small tavern. But, more significantly, this line is very likely an allusion to the murder of English dramatist Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare's friend and only literary peer. He speaks of him again later in this act: "Dead Shepherd now I find thy saw of might" (3.5). Read on...


All the World's a Stage

A representation of a typical Elizabethan stage. From Albright's 'Shakespearian Stage'.Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
                          As You Like It (2.7), Jaques

The melancholy Jaques! We all know him. He is wholly unique and individual. A song carries him out of his senses; the fool convulses him; he has neither hatred nor love, all things suggest melancholy to him; he loves himself too well to hate anybody, among the cheerful cheerless only he. Happy faces but whet his philosophic meditation; he mistakes his own self-love for compassion, and his pity does not include its object. The sufferings of others but open the fountains of his easy tears, he would inflict pain to weep over it, he has been a libertine and now pensively stands aloof from the world; he is the sauce of the entire pudding. His irony is tempered with good-nature and he is a pure sentimentalist. [F. Hyatt Smith, Shakespeare Studies]