THE ANALYSIS OF SHAKESPEARE’S DRAMA“AS YOU LIKE IT” BASED ON INTRINSIC ELEMENTS
“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 folio of 1623. As You Like It will be for many of us, a rather difficult play to appreciate and interpret simply on the basis of a reading. The reasons for this are not difficult to ascertain. As You Like It is clearly a pastoral comedy—with a country setting, much talk of love of all sorts, a story which consists, for the most part, of a series of accidental meetings one after the other, and a resolution involving transformations of character and divine intervention. Although (as we shall see) the Forest of Ardenne is not a completely idealized pastoral setting, we have here all the standard ingredients of pastoral drama. The work was based upon the early prose romance Rosalynde by Thomas Lodge.
The play’s first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility. “As You Like It” is regarded as one of the great comedy plays by William Shakespeare. One of the reason is that the heroine, Rosalind, is one of his most inspiring characters and has more lines than any of Shakespeare’s female characters. Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke falls in love with Orlando the disinherited son of one of the duke’s friends. When she is banished from the court by her usurping uncle, Duke Frederick, Rosalind takes on the appearance of a boy calling herself Ganymede. She travels with her cousin Celia and the jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live in exile.
THE ANALYSIS OF “AS YOU LIKE IT” BASED ON INTRINSIC ELEMENTS: A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS
1. Theoretical Framework
There are lots things that can be analyzed in this play. Although, there are some theories to approach this play, I would like to start from Rosalind’s disguise as the youth Ganymede for the first time. This “disguise” continues to intrigue modern scholars, particularly as it relates to the theme of sexual identity. Philip Traci (1981) has asserted that although the characters themselves are heterosexual, the dramatization of Rosalind’s multiple identities reveals the homosexual side of As You Like It, especially when the role is performed by a boy actor, as it was in Elizabethan times.
However, the issue is much more complicated than that. For Rosalind’s assumed name, Ganymede, is a very deliberate reference to the young male lover Zeus carried up to Olympus, and it points us to what might be a very strong element in the courtship game between Orlando and Rosalind and in the feelings Phoebe has for Rosalind, namely homoerotic desire. There’s little in the play to suggest this explicitly, but a production which showed, say, that Orlando’s feelings were becoming involved with Ganymede, so that the pretend courtship has a strongly erotic undercurrent, would not be violating the text. Perhaps it’s hard to distinguish totally between Orlando’s feelings for Rosalind and Orlando’s feelings for Ganymede. And that challenges all sorts of conventional expectations about erotic love, in order to “probe the surprisingly complex issue of what is natural in matters of love and sexual desire”
Analyzing the impact that homosexuality had on families, sex, and marriage in early modern England, Mario Di Gangi (1996) has relied on the Ganymede myth, a narrative that recounts Jupiter’s desire for his page Ganymede as a replacement for his wife, Juno. Di Gangi has contended the myth, used by Shakespeare as a “parable of conflict between husbands and wives,” reflected the Renaissance culture’s promotion of male homoeroticism and fear of female sexuality. Thus, Rosalind’s male disguise permits her to “test the sincerity of Orlando’s love” and assuage her fears of post marital sexual rejection.
Other theory I would like to propose is based on William J. Goode’s book “The Family”. He states:
In all known societies, almost everyone lived his life enmeshed in a network of family rights and obligations called role relation. A person is made aware of his role relations through a long period of socialization during his childhood, a process in which he learns how others in his family expect him to behave, and in which he himself comes to feel this is both the right and the desirable way to act.
Orlando is the best example in giving the quotation about family. Consider this:
I am more proud to be Sir Rowland’s son,
… change that calling
To be adopted heir to Frederick. (1.2.232)
Or we might wonder that in most cases “love and care” even take in the wrong position of place and any other dimensions.. What I mean here is that sometimes, someone whom we might not care about how we are, in fact has the strong feeling than we thought. Consider this line from Adam:
But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
… a younger man
In all your business and necessities. (2.3.38)
The two above quotations perhaps can be interpreted as the common thought about family. The first quotation that “blood is thicker than pride, or the desire for prestige” – at least among the honorable is very popular. This is particularly interesting, given that Oliver will soon tell Duke Frederick that he does not love his brother. However, the second quotation seems more interesting because it can be clearly seen that: Adam loves Orlando because the boy carries the traits of his father, Sir Rowland. It is this love that transcends the traditional relationship of a master to a servant; Adam is like the family that Orlando lacks in his blood relations. When the “master” can no longer take care of the servant, the servant cares for him; there is much more of a paternal relationship here than one rooted in servitude. Also, think of how Orlando fends for Adam once Adam has become weak with hunger and weariness. It is like a child taking care of an aging parent, where once the parent cared for the child.
2. Plot Synopsis
In analyzing drama and other works, there are some intrinsic elements we need to consider such as theme, setting, character and plot. Plot also consists of exposition, conflict, complications, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. In a literary term, a plot is all the events in a story particularly given toward the achievement of some particular artistic or emotional effect or general theme. Plot refers to the series of events that give a story its meaning and effect.
It is widely accepted that all stories are unique, and in one sense there are as many plots as there are stories. In one general view of plot, however—and one that describes many works of fiction—the story begins with rising action as the character experiences conflict through a series of plot complications that entangle him or her more deeply in the problem. This conflict reaches a climax, after which the conflict is resolved, and the falling action leads quickly to the story’s end. Things have generally changed at the end of a story, either in the character or the situation; drama subsides, and a new status quo is achieved. It is often instructive to apply this three-part structure even to stories that don’t seem to fit the pattern neatly. Complication is the plot events that plunge the protagonist further into conflict. Rising action is the part of a plot in which the drama intensifies, rising toward the climax. Climax is the plot’s most dramatic and revealing moment, usually the turning point of the story. Falling action is the part of the plot after the climax, when the drama subsides and the conflict is resolved
Exposition is the beginning of the plot concerned with introducing characters and setting. This element may be largely presented at the beginning of the story, or occur as a sort of incidental description throughout. Exposition may be handled in a variety of ways—perhaps a character or a set of characters explain the elements of the plot through dialogue or thought. In this work, the story begins when Frederick has usurped the Duchy and exiled his older brother, Duke Senior. The Duke’s daughter Rosalind has been permitted to remain at court because she is the closest friend and cousin of Frederick’s only child, Celia. In this exposition, Shakespeare uses interesting way to give the opening or the exposition of a drama.
- Raising Action and conflicts
Rising Action is the central part of a story during which various problems arise, leading up to the climax. Conflict is the “problem” in a story which triggers the action. Conflict is also the basic tension, predicament, or challenge that propels a story’s plot. Basically, there are five basic types of conflict: Person vs. Person: One character in a story has a problem with one or more of the other characters; Person vs. Society: A character has a conflict or problem with society; Person vs. Him or Herself: A character struggles inside and has trouble deciding what to do; Person vs. Nature: A character has a problem with some element of nature, a snowstorm, avalanche, bitter cold; Person vs. Fate A character has to battle what seems to be an uncontrolled
It will take pages to spotlight all kinds of conflicts in this play. However, I will give two examples of conflicts that appear on this Shakespeare’s drama. In this work, Orlando is described as a young gentleman of the kingdom who has fallen in love at first sight of Rosalind, who is forced to flee his home after being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver. This could be one of among conflicts which support one of the basic types of conflict: Person vs. Person: One character in a story has a problem with one or more of the other characters appear on this drama. The first type of conflict happens between Orlando and Oliver. As we know, before Sir Rowland de Boys died, he made Oliver, his eldest son, promise to rear and educate Orlando, his youngest son. But after Sir Rowland’s death, Oliver virtually imprisons Orlando in their home. The younger brother receives no schooling, no guidance, and almost no money–unlike a third brother, Jaques, who lives away at school, prospering. In the orchard of Oliver’s house, Orlando complains to Adam, an old servant, that Oliver even pays more attention to his horses. When Oliver enters the orchard, Orlando tells him:
My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it; therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes. (1. 1. 23)
Other conflict can be seen when Frederick becomes angry and banishes Rosalind from court after knowing that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland, who was a friend of the banished Duke Senior. Later, when Rosalind and Celia are discussing Orlando, Frederick bursts in and banishes Rosalind, for she reminds him too much of her father, Duke Senior, and his late friend, Sir Rowland. Frederick declares:
Within these ten days if that thou be’st [be] found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it. (1. 3. 27-29)
Celia and Rosalind decide to flee together accompanied by the jester Touchstone, with Rosalind disguised as a young man. Rosalind, now disguised as Ganymede (“Jove‘s own page”), and Celia, now disguised as Aliena (Latin for “stranger”), arrive in the Arcadian Forest of Arden, where the exiled Duke now lives with some supporters, including “the melancholy Jaques,” who is introduced to us weeping over the slaughter of a deer. “Ganymede” and “Aliena” do not immediately encounter the Duke and his companions, as they meet up with Corin, an impoverished tenant, and offer to buy his master’s rude cottage.
Orlando and his servant find the Duke and his men and are soon living with them and posting simplistic love poems for Rosalind on the trees. Rosalind, also in love with Orlando, meets him as Ganymede and pretends to counsel him to cure him of being in love. Ganymede says “he” will take Rosalind’s place and “he” and Orlando can act out their relationship.
Few of the best conflicts in this work can be seen when the shepherdess Phebe, with whom Silvius is in love, has fallen in love with Ganymede (actually Rosalind), though “Ganymede” continually shows that “he” is not interested in Phebe. The cynical Touchstone has also made amorous advances towards the dull-witted goat-herd girl Audrey, and attempts to marry her before his plans are thwarted by the intrusive Jaques. Finally, Silvius, Phebe, Ganymede, and Orlando are brought together in an argument with each other over who will get whom. Ganymede says he will solve the problem, having Orlando promise to marry Rosalind, and Phebe promise to marry Silvius if she cannot marry Ganymede. The next day, Ganymede reveals himself to be Rosalind, and since Phebe has found her love to be false, she ends up with Silvius.
Climax is the high point of the story, where a culmination of events creates the peak of the conflict. The climax usually features the most conflict and struggle, and usually reveals any secrets or missing points in the story. Alternatively, an anti-climax may occur, in which an expectedly difficult event is revealed to be incredibly easy or of paltry importance. Critics may also label the falling action as an anti-climax, or anti-climactic. The climax isn’t always the first important scene in a story. In many stories, it is the last sentence, with no successive. While at the cottage, Oliver falls in love with Celia, and they vow to marry the next day. Rosalind (as Ganymede) goes to Orlando and tells him she is versed in magic and will conjure up Rosalind the following day so that he can marry her. On the appointed day, Rosalind appears as herself while the wedding guests, including Duke Senior and his followers look on. By this time, Touchstone has found a love of his own–Audrey, a country wench. In addition, Phebe, through a little trickery worked by Rosalind, agrees to marry Silvius. Thus, on the wedding day, four couples exchange vows: Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audry.
While at the cottage, Oliver falls in love with Celia, and they vow to marry the next day. Rosalind (as Ganymede) goes to Orlando and tells him she is versed in magic and will conjure up Rosalind the following day so that he can marry her. On the appointed day, Rosalind appears as herself while the wedding guests, including Duke Senior and his followers look on. By this time, Touchstone has found a love of his own–Audrey, a country wench. In addition, Phebe, through a little trickery worked by Rosalind, agrees to marry Silvius. Thus, on the wedding day, four couples exchange vows: Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audry.
- Denounement and Resolution
The falling action is the part of a story following the climax. This part of the story shows the result of the climax, and its effects on the characters, setting and proceeding events. Critics may label a story with falling action as the anti-climax or anti-climactic if they feel that the falling action takes away from the power of the climax. We can see the falling action when Orlando sees Oliver in the forest and rescues him from a lioness, causing Oliver to repent for mistreating Orlando. Also consider when Oliver meets Aliena (Celia’s false identity) and falls in love with her, and they agree to marry. Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audrey all are married in the final scene
In fiction, a denouement consists of a series of events that follow the climax, and thus serves as the conclusion of the story. Conflicts are resolved, creating normality for the characters and a sense of catharsis, or release of tension and anxiety, for the reader. Simply put, dénouement is the unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot. Be aware that not all stories have a resolution.
Orlando sees Oliver in the forest and rescues him from a lioness, causing Oliver to repent for mistreating Orlando. Oliver meets Aliena (Celia’s false identity) and falls in love with her, and they agree to marry. Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audrey all are married in the final scene, after which they discover that Frederick has also repented his faults, deciding to restore his legitimate brother to the dukedom and adopt a religious life. Jaques, ever melancholy, declines their invitation to return to the court preferring to stay in the forest and to adopt a religious life.
- 3. Character
Character is one of the most important aspects in a plot. In his book Aspects of the novel, E. M. Forster defined two basic types of characters, their qualities, functions, and importance for the development of the novel: flat characters and round characters. Flat characters are two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work. By contrast, round characters are complex and undergo development, sometimes sufficiently to surprise the reader. We need to use the definition from Forster because we can see some changes in character in this play such as Oliver and Frederick who used to be mean turns out to be a better person on the end of the play. We also need to consider how Rosalind’s characters in coloring this play with two identities: as Rosalind herself and as Ganymede.
- Main Character
Following the theory of division of characters as Protagonist and Antagonist, we can clearly judge that the Protagonist is Rosalind and the Antagonist: is Duke Frederick. Rosalind who is a daughter of Duke Senior, is the ideal heroine since she has the qualities of being intelligent, beautiful, courageous, cheerful and morally upright. Also the best Rosalind’s company, Celia who is the daughter of Duke Frederick and good friend of Rosalind can complete the central character in the play. We can see these two figures in many occasions. At Duke Frederick’s behest, Rosalind is to serve as a companion for his daughter, Celia. It so happens that Rosalind has a sympathizer in Celia, for the two of them have been best friends since childhood. Whenever Rosalind pines for her missing father, Celia is there to comfort her. Look the quotation below:
“I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry” (1. 2. 3).
The above quotation shows how these two characters need each other, and for some extent it can arouse multiple interpretation such as homosexuality had on families, sex, and marriage like what I have mentioned earlier in the theoretical framework. Celia also says:
Herein I see thou lov’st me not with the … were so righteously temper’d
as mine is to thee. (1.2.9)
The above lines better interpreted as Celia values her relationship to Rosalind above all else; she would even forego her own father for the girl (which she later does).
Another important character is Duke Senior who is described as a rightful duke living in banishment with his followers in the Forest of Arden. He is reminiscent of Robin Hood. Consider also the antagonist’s character, Duke Frederick, Duke Senior’s brother, who usurps Senior’s dominions. Other major characters are Orlando, Oliver: Sons of Sir Rowland de Boys. Orlando is in love with Rosalind, daughter of Duke Senior. Oliver, the eldest son, maltreats Orlando and denies him his full share in their father’s bequest. However, Oliver knows he has no reason to hate his brother, except that Orlando is (implicitly) regarded better than he is. If the two did not have that strange, innately competitive relationship of being brothers, Oliver might not hate him. Consider this line :
I hope I shall see an end of him; … who best know him, that I am altogether misprised. (1.1.164)
- Supporting Characters
There are many supporting character in this play, but due to the limited pages, they will not be discussed further here. Le Beau is a courtier attending upon Frederick. Charles is a wrestler in the service of Frederick. Adam is the servant of Oliver. Adam, an old man who is mistreated by Oliver, makes friend with Orlando. Touchstone is a clown. His presence in the play makes others react in a way that reveals their qualities; hence, he lives up to his name. Literally a touchstone is a black stone used to assay the purity of precious metals. When a sample believed to contain gold or silver is rubbed against a touchstone, the sample leaves a streak on the stone. Acid is then used to burn away impurities that adulterate the gold or silver in the sample, leaving behind only the precious metal.
A setting is the time place and social environment a story takes place. In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world. Elements of setting may include culture, historical period, geography, and hour. Along with plot, character, theme and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.
- Physical Setting
A. Time Setting
The concept of time in As You Like It remains a focus of modern critics. Although the Forest of Arden has frequently been hailed as a timeless refuge where the inhabitants “fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world” (I.i.118-19), recent criticism has focused on alternative views. Frederick Turner (1971) has suggested that time itself has not been eliminated, but that the “measurable, social time of clocks” has transmuted into diverse modes of time that reflect the characters’ perceptions: the personal, subjective time that rules Rosalind and Orlando, the historical, objective time that Jacques embraces, and the natural, biological time that governs Touchstone. Arguing for the existence of “more than one ‘time-sense'” in the play, Rawdon Wilson (1975) has examined the shift from objective to subjective time, noting that it marks not only the journey from the court to the forest, but the characters’ attitudes toward change as well. Harry Morris (1975) has delved into the darker aspects related to the subject of time in As You Like It—death and decay. According to Morris, Touchstone is the initiator of the “death-in-Arcadia motif,” the agent of time. His announcement, “Ay, now am I in Arden,” echoes the expression, “Ay, now am I in Arcadia,” the translated version of et in Arcadia ego. This phrase was inscribed on the tomb of a shepherd found in seventeenth-century pastoral paintings by both Guercino and Nicolas Poussin, nearly twenty-five years after As You Like It was written. Morris nevertheless has speculated that perhaps an earlier source was available to Shakespeare, given the parallels between the death elements in the paintings—the skull, the dead shepherd, and all-devouring time—and those found in the Forest of Arden.
B. Place Setting
The play is set in a duchy in France, but most of the action takes place in a location called the ‘Forest of Arden.’ There is an Arden Forest in Warwickshire, England, and an Ardennes Forest in continental Europe. The latter forest encompasses parts of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Thomas Lodge, who wrote a play that Shakespeare used as the source for As You Like It, earned a medical degree in France and practiced medicine in Belgium, not far from the Ardennes forest.
C. Metaphorical Setting
Many experts suggest that Arden is most likely a toponym for a forest close to Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. The Oxford Shakespeare edition rationalises this geographical discrepancy by assuming that ‘Arden’ is an anglicisation of the forested Ardennes region of France (where Lodge set his tale) and alters the spelling to reflect this. Other editions keep Shakespeare’s ‘Arden’ spelling, since it can be argued that the pastoral mode depicts a fantastical world in which geographical details are irrelevant. The Arden edition of Shakespeare makes the suggestion that the name ‘Arden’ comes from a combination of the classical region of Arcadia and the biblical garden of Eden, as there is a strong interplay of classical and Christian belief systems and philosophies within the play. Furthermore, Shakespeare’s mother’s name was Mary Arden, and the name of the forest may also be a pun on that
- 4. Themes
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Themes about life and love, including aging, the natural world, and death are included in the play. The most obvious concern of As You Like It is love, and particularly the attitudes and the language appropriate to young romantic love. This, I take it, is obvious enough from the relationships between Orlando and Rosalind, Silvius and Phoebe, Touchstone and Audrey, and (very briefly) Celia and Oliver. The action of the play moves back and forth among these couples, inviting us to compare the different styles and to recognize from those comparisons some important facts about young love. Other important aspecta are new friends are made and families are reunited. By the end of the play Ganymede, once again Rosalind, marries Orlando. Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phebe, and Touchstone and Audrey all are married in the final scene. Oliver becomes a gentler, kinder young man so the Duke changes his ways and turns to religion and so that the exiled Duke, father of Rosalind, can rule once again. Act II, Scene 7 features a great soliloquy by William Shakespeare which begins:
“All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages…”
Also consider this quotation from Ganymede/Rosalind: :
Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love
Or consider the quotation when after Touchstone teases Rosalind about how her name is appearing on trees everywhere in the forest, Rosalind (still disguised as Ganymede) crosses paths one day with Orlando and playfully chides him about abusing the trees by carving his poems into them. Then she asks whether his rhymes truly reflect the love that he feels. Orlando replies,
“Neither rime nor reason can express how much” (3. 2. 152).
That above quotation clearly shows how “love” is one among the themes in this work.
Meanwhile, two other men–Duke Frederick and his younger brother Duke Senior–also live at odds. Frederick had unjustly seized the dukedom of Senior and banished him to the Forest of Arden. There, Senior and his loyal followers learn to live like Robin Hood and his merry men, enjoying all the simple pleasures of a rustic existence. As Senior says,
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it. (2. 1. 17-20)
Motif is a recurring structure, contrast, or literary device that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes. The motif which is shown in this play is considered “artifice. We can see it when Orlando runs through the forest decorating every tree with love poems for Rosalind, and as Silvius pines for Phoebe and compares her cruel eyes to a murderer, we cannot help but notice the importance of artifice to life in Ardenne. Phoebe decries such artificiality when she laments that her eyes lack the power to do the devoted shepherd any real harm, and Rosalind similarly puts a stop to Orlando’s romantic fussing when she reminds him that
“[m]en have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” (IV.i.91–92).
Although Rosalind is susceptible to the contrivances of romantic love, as when her composure crumbles when Orlando is only minutes late for their appointment, she does her best to move herself and the others toward a more realistic understanding of love. Knowing that the excitement of the first days of courtship will flag, she warns Orlando that:
“[m]aids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives” (IV.i.125–127).
Here, Rosalind cautions against any love that sustains itself on artifice alone. She advocates a love that, while delightful, can survive in the real world. During the Epilogue, Rosalind returns the audience to reality by stripping away not only the artifice of Ardenne, but of her character as well. As the Elizabethan actor stands on the stage and reflects on this temporary foray into the unreal, the audience’s experience comes to mirror the experience of the characters. The theater becomes Ardenne, the artful means of edifying us for our journey into the world in which we live.
To conclude, therefore, I might say that conflict is not absent from the play totally. It is As You Like It’s knowledge and recognition of the dangers of love as the well-known saying taken from this play, “Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” is still relevant until now since we are still capable of being love struck. See these lines:
The Duke my father lov’d his father dearly.
… that; and do you love him because I do. (1.3.29)
It can be explained that although Celia argues that loving someone like part of your family does not mean you have to love everyone they love. In fact, sometimes it means you have the good sense to know their love is completely unfounded.
To me, this drama deals much with love, such as the idea that love is a disease that brings suffering and torment to the lover, or the assumption that the male lover is the slave or servant of his mistress. These ideas are central features of the courtly love tradition, which greatly influenced European literature for hundreds of years before Shakespeare’s time. In As You Like It, characters lament the suffering caused by their love, but these laments are all unconvincing and ridiculous. In general, As You Like It breaks with the courtly love tradition by portraying love as a force for happiness and fulfillment and ridicules those who revel in their own suffering.
As a closing, I would like to cite the line:
Say ‘a day’ without the ‘ever.’ No, no, Orlando; … hyen, and that when thou are inclin’d to sleep. (4.1.146)
which can be understood as “marriage is the death knell to love, or certainly to romance.” The intoxicating happiness of love is about the chase, so once marriage occurs, the game of pursuit is over, making for jealous wives and disappointed husbands.
 William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
 The play is a pastoral comedy, that is, a comedy which involves a traditional literary style of moving sophisticated urban courtiers out into the countryside, where they have to deal with life in a very different manner from that of the aristocratic court. This play, like others in the Pastoral tradition, freely departs from naturalism, and in As You Like It (certainly by comparison with the History plays) there is little attempt to maintain any consistently naturalistic style.
 See Jean Howard, Introduction to As You Like It in The Norton Shakespeare.
 In Greek mythology, Ganymede, is a divine hero whose homeland was Troy. He was a prince, son of the eponymous Tros of Dardania and of Callirrhoe, and brother of Ilus and Assaracus. Ganymede was the most attractive of mortals, which led Zeus to abduct him, in the form of an eagle, to serve as cup-bearer to the gods. For the etymology of his name, Robert Graves‘ The Greek Myths offers ganyesthai + medea, “rejoicing in virility”.
 William J. Goode. The Family. New Jersey; Prentice-Hall, Inc page 1
 The word of character, which is derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr can be defined as the representation of a person in a narrative or dramatic work of art (such as a novel, play, or film). Characters may be classified by various criteria: Protagonist, Hero, Anti-Hero, Main character, Antagonist or villain, Minor characters.
 Michael J Hoffman, Patrick D. Murphy. Essentials of the theory of fiction (2 ed.). Duke University Press, 1996. pp. 36
 Raymond Obstfeld. (2002). Fiction First Aid: Instant Remedies for Novels, Stories and Scripts. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books
 John Truby (2007). Anatomy of a Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. New York, NY: Faber and Faber, Inc