Review- Shakespeare, “As You Like It”

William Shakespeare, “As You Like It” (1599) – Does reviewing a four hundred year old page on my blog make sense? Well, I read it, so I’ll review it. I remember well one of the summers I spent in New York reading many of Shakespeare’s plays, which I would pick up from the sidewalk used booksellers, like Everett in Washington Square. I got this one, if I recall correctly, at a book sale at the Brookline Public Library. All artifacts of the pre-COVID era… I wonder when I’ll next go through a free or one dollar book pile…

Anyway, shenanigans in the greenwood are the order of the day in this pastoral comedy. George Bernard Shaw thought Shakespeare phoned this one in and there is a certain desultory feel to the proceedings, but I thought it was enjoyable. There’s some dukes, one exiles another, there’s some brothers, one exiles another, the bad duke exiles the good duke’s daughter and her attendant, and everyone winds up in the greenwood, where anything can happen.

It’s a Shakespearean comedy, so everyone is married in the end. Rosalind, the good duke’s daughter, pretends to be a man and makes Orlando, the good brother who is also a plus wrestler (has there ever been a pro wrestling themed adaptation of this or any other Shakespeare play?), woo her in her manly guise. Some of Shakey’s most famous speeches are voiced by Jaques, a guy in the woods, like the “all the world’s a stage” bit. Eventually, everyone is reconciled, even people you’d rather see get a bit of comeuppance. All in all, a decent evening’s entertainment. ****

Review- Shakespeare, “As You Like It”

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