As You Like It
As You Like It

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Annotation: Shakespeare readers will appreciate the text of this play with the help of explanatory footnotes on the language and expressions used, and a history of Shakespearean theater and writing.
Catalog Number: #18809
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition Date: 2005
Pages: xxxiii, 243 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-553-21290-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-01942-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-553-21290-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-01942-3
Dewey: 822.3
Dimensions: 18 cm.
Subject Heading:
Plays.
Language: English
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 4,345
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 140093 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: L
[Dramatis Personae

Duke Senior, a banished duke

Duke Frederick, his usurping brother

Rosalind, daughter of Duke Senior, later disguised as Ganymede

Celia, daughter of Duke Frederick, later disguised as Aliena


Oliver,

Jaques, sons of Sir Rowland de Boys

Orlando,


Amiens, lords attending Duke Senior

Jaques,


le beau, a courtier attending Duke Frederick

Charles, a wrestler in the court of Duke Frederick

Adam, an aged servant of Oliver and then Orlando

Dennis, a servant of Oliver


touchstone, the clown or fool


Corin, an old shepherd

Silvius, a young shepherd, in love with Phoebe

phoebe, a shepherdess

William, a country youth, in love with Audrey

Audrey, a country wench

sir Oliver mar-text, a country vicar


hymen, god of marriage


Lords and Attendants waiting on Duke Frederick

and Duke Senior


scene: Oliver's house; Duke Frederick's court;

and the Forest of Arden]


1.1 Location: The garden of Oliver's house.

1-3 it was . . . crowns it was in this way that I was left, by the terms of my father's will, a mere thousand crowns or £250

3 crowns coins worth five shillings

3-4 charged . . . well my brother was instructed as a condition of my father's blessing to educate me well

5 My . . . school My oldest brother Oliver maintains my other brother, Jaques, at university

6 profit progress.

8 stays detains.  unkept poorly supported

11-12 fair . . . feeding kept well groomed with good diet

12 manage manage, paces and maneuvers in the art of horsemanship

13 riders trainers.  dearly expensively

17 countenance behavior; (neglectful) patronage

19 hinds farm hands.  bars me excludes me from

19-20 as much . . . education with all the power at his disposal, undermines my right to be educated as a gentleman.

26 Go apart Stand aside

27 shake me up abuse me.

28 make do. (But Orlando takes it in the more usual sense.)


1.1 * Enter Orlando and Adam.

Orlando As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fash- 1

ion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand 2

crowns and, as thou say'st, charged my brother on his 3

blessing to breed me well; and there begins my 4

sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and 5

report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he 6

keeps me rustically at home--or, to speak more

properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you 8

that "keeping" for a gentleman of my birth, that

differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are

bred better, for besides that they are fair with their 11

feeding, they are taught their manage, and to that end 12

riders dearly hired. But I, his brother, gain nothing 13

under him but growth, for the which his animals on

his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. Besides

this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the

something that nature gave me his countenance 17

seems to take from me. He lets me feed with his

hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and as much as 19

in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. 20

This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of my

father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny

against this servitude. I will no longer endure it,

though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.

Enter Oliver.

Adam Yonder comes my master, your brother.

Orlando Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how 26

he will shake me up. [Adam stands aside.] 27

Oliver Now, sir, what make you here? 28


30 mar ("To make or mar" is a commonplace antithesis.)

31 Marry i.e., Indeed. (Originally an oath by the Virgin Mary.)

34-5 be naught awhile i.e., stay in your place, don't grumble.

36-8 Shall . . . penury? (Alluding to the story of the Prodigal Son, in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 15:11-32, who, having wasted his "portion" or inheritance, had to tend swine and eat with them.)

39 where in whose presence. (But Orlando sarcastically takes the more literal meaning.)

40 orchard garden.

43-4 in . . . blood acknowledging the bond of our being of gentle birth

44-5 courtesy of nations recognized custom (of primogeniture, whereby the eldest son inherits all the land)

47 blood (1) gentlemanly lineage (2) spirit

49 is nearer . . . reverence is closer to his position of authority (as head of family).

52 young inexperienced (at fighting)

53 villain i.e., wicked fellow. (But Orlando plays on the literal meaning of "bondman" or "serf," as well as Oliver's meaning.)

55 he anyone

59 railed on thyself insulted your own blood.

60-1 your father's remembrance the sake of your father's memory


Orlando Nothing. I am not taught to make anything.

Oliver What mar you then, sir? 30

Orlando Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that 31

which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours,

with idleness.

Oliver Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught 34

awhile. 35

Orlando Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with 36

them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I 37

should come to such penury? 38

Oliver Know you where you are, sir? 39

Orlando Oh, sir, very well: here in your orchard. 40

Oliver Know you before whom, sir?

Orlando Ay, better than him I am before knows me.

I know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle 43

condition of blood you should so know me. The cour- 44

tesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are 45

the firstborn, but the same tradition takes not away

my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us. I 47

have as much of my father in me as you, albeit I con-

fess your coming before me is nearer to his reverence. 49

Oliver What, boy! [He strikes Orlando.]

Orlando Come, come, elder brother, you are too

young in this. [He seizes Oliver by the throat.] 52

Oliver Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain? 53

Orlando I am no villain. I am the youngest son of Sir

Rowland de Boys. He was my father, and he is thrice 55

a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert

thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from

thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for

saying so. Thou hast railed on thyself. 59

Adam Sweet masters, be patient! For your father's 60

remembrance, be at accord. 61


66 qualities (1) characteristics (2) accomplishments.

68 exercises employments

69 allottery portion

74 will (1) desire (2) portion from your father's will (3) willfulness (i.e., you'll get what is coming to you).

82 grow upon me take liberties with me; grow too big for your breeches.

83 physic your rankness apply medicine to your overweening

84 neither either.

88 So please you If you please


Oliver Let me go, I say.

Orlando I will not till I please. You shall hear me. My

father charged you in his will to give me good educa-

tion. You have trained me like a peasant, obscuring

and hiding from me all gentlemanlike qualities. The 66

spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no

longer endure it; therefore allow me such exercises as 68

may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery 69

my father left me by testament. With that I will go buy

my fortunes. [He releases Oliver.]

Oliver And what wilt thou do? Beg when that is

spent? Well, sir, get you in. I will not long be troubled

with you; you shall have some part of your will. I pray 74

you, leave me.

Orlando I will no further offend you than becomes me

for my good.

Oliver [to Adam] Get you with him, you old dog.

Adam Is "old dog" my reward? Most true, I have lost

my teeth in your service. God be with my old master!

He would not have spoke such a word.

Exeunt Orlando [and] Adam.

Oliver Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will 82

physic your rankness and yet give no thousand 83

crowns neither.--Holla, Dennis! 84

Enter Dennis.

Dennis Calls Your Worship?

Oliver Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to

speak with me?

Dennis So please you, he is here at the door and 88

importunes access to you.

Oliver Call him in. [Exit Dennis.]

'Twill be a good way; and tomorrow the wrestling is.


92 Good morrow Good morning

99 whose all of whose

100 good leave full permission

104 being they being

105-6 died to stay died from being forced to stay

113 fleet pass

114 carelessly free from care.  golden world the primal age of innocence and ease from which humankind was thought to have degenerated. (See Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.)

120 a fall a bout of wrestling.

121 credit reputation

122 shall . . . well (1) must exert himself very skillfully (2) will be lucky indeed.

124 foil defeat


Enter Charles.

Charles Good morrow to Your Worship. 92

Oliver Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news

at the new court?

Charles There's no news at the court, sir, but the old

news: that is, the old Duke is banished by his younger

brother the new Duke, and three or four loving lords

have put themselves into voluntary exile with him,

whose lands and revenues enrich the new Duke; 99

therefore he gives them good leave to wander. 100

Oliver Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter,

be banished with her father?

Charles Oh, no; for the Duke's daughter, her cousin, so

loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, 104

that she would have followed her exile or have died to 105

stay behind her. She is at the court and no less beloved 106

of her uncle than his own daughter, and never

two ladies loved as they do.

Oliver Where will the old Duke live?

Charles They say he is already in the Forest of Arden,

and a many merry men with him; and there they live

like the old Robin Hood of England. They say many

young gentlemen flock to him every day and fleet the 113

time carelessly as they did in the golden world. 114

Oliver What, you wrestle tomorrow before the new

Duke?

Charles Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you

with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand

that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition

to come in disguised against me to try a fall. Tomor- 120

row, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he that escapes 121

me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. 122

Your brother is but young and tender, and for your

love I would be loath to foil him, as I must for my 124


126 withal with this

127 stay . . . intendment restrain him from his intent.  brook endure

129 search seeking

133 underhand unobtrusive

135-6 envious emulator malicious disparager. 

136 parts qualities

137 contriver plotter.  natural blood

138 lief willingly

139-40 thou . . . to't you'd better beware

140-1 if he . . . on thee if he fails to distinguish himself at your expense

141 practice plot

147 brotherly as a brother should.  anatomize analyze

152 go alone walk unassisted

155 gamester sportsman. (Said sardonically.)

157 gentle gentlemanly

158 noble device lofty aspiration.  sorts classes of people.  enchantingly as if they were under his spell


own honor if he come in. Therefore, out of my love to

you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either 126

you might stay him from his intendment or brook 127

such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a

thing of his own search and altogether against my will. 129

Oliver Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which

thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself

notice of my brother's purpose herein and have by

underhand means labored to dissuade him from it, but 133

he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles, it is the stubbornest

young fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious 135

emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and 136

villainous contriver against me his natural brother. 137

Therefore use thy discretion. I had as lief thou didst 138

break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look 139

to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace, or if he 140

do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practice 141

against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacher-

ous device, and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy

life by some indirect means or other; for I assure thee,

and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one so

young and so villainous this day living. I speak but

brotherly of him, but should I anatomize him to thee as 147

he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale

and wonder.

Charles I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he

come tomorrow, I'll give him his payment. If ever he

go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more. And 152

so God keep Your Worship!

Oliver Farewell, good Charles. Exit [Charles].

Now will I stir this gamester. I hope I shall see an end of 155

him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing

more than he. Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet 157

learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly 158

beloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world


160 people servants

161 misprized undervalued, scorned.

162 clear all solve everything.

163 kindle . . . thither inflame Orlando with desire to go to the wrestling match


1.2 Location: Duke Frederick's court. A place suitable for wrestling.

1 sweet my coz my sweet cousin

5 learn teach

8 that with which

10 so provided that

12-13 righteously tempered harmoniously composed

14 condition of my estate state of my fortunes

17 like likely

19 perforce by force

25 sport pastimes


and especially of my own people, who best know him, 160

that I am altogether misprized. But it shall not be so 161

long; this wrestler shall clear all. Nothing remains but 162

that I kindle the boy thither, which now I'll go about. 163

Exit.

1.2 * Enter Rosalind and Celia.

Celia I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry. 1

Rosalind Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am

mistress of, and would you yet I were merrier? Unless

you could teach me to forget a banished father, you

must not learn me how to remember any extraordi- 5

nary pleasure.

Celia Herein I see thou lov'st me not with the full

weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished 8



Excerpted from As You Like It by William Shakespeare
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

This wisely funny comedy, which contains some of Shakespeare’s loveliest poetry, contrasts a court’s world of envy and rivalry with a forest’s world of compassion and harmony. In the Forest of Arden, the banished young heroine, Rosalind, disguised as a gentleman farmer, encounters an extraordinary assemblage of characters, including a fool, a malcontent traveler, her own banished father, and the banished young man she loves. Romantic happiness triumphs, even as we laugh at the excesses of love, at the ways of court and countryside, indeed, at everything, in this masterpiece of comic writing.

Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography


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