As You Like It

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As You Like It
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Duke Frederick has usurped the title and throne of his elder brother, Duke Senior. Duke Senior has taken up residence in the Forest of Arden with his band of loyal followers, leaving his daughter, Rosalind, behind at the court. Into this situation, enter Orlando and Oliver de Boys, two brothers divided by enmity. Orlando has long been mistreated by his brother; when Orlando enters a wrestling match sponsored by Duke Frederick, Oliver tells his opponent, Charles—a champion wrestler—that he wouldn't care if Charles were to break Orlando's neck.

To the surprise of all, Orlando wins the match. In doing so, he attracts the romantic attention of Rosalind and the ire of Oliver. Orlando and his servant, Adam, flee Oliver's wrath into Arden. Duke Frederick decides to banish Rosalind to Arden as he did with her father. Celia, Frederick's daughter and Rosalind's best friend, declares that she will accompany her in exile. Rosalind disguises herself as a boy named Ganymede, while Celia assumes the part of "his" sister, Aliena. They are accompanied by the clown Touchstone.

Orlando eventually finds himself in the company of Duke Senior's men, pining for his lost Rosalind. Rosalind, meanwhile, purchases a flock of sheep and a pasture, and sets out to lead a pastoral life. Before long, however, Orlando's habit of carving Rosalind's name in the trees and leaving love poems scattered about the forest tip her off to his presence. Still disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind seeks out Orlando to get a better sense of his feelings for her. She promises to cure Orlando's heartache by letting him pour his feelings out to Ganymede as if "he" were Rosalind. Rosalind also attempts a match between Silvius and Phebe that goes awry when Phebe falls instead for Rosalind's Ganymede. Meanwhile, Touchstone courts a country girl named Audrey, adding to the multiple romance plots.

The resolution begins when Oliver enters the camp. Orlando has saved him from an attack by a lion, and the two brothers have reconciled. Upon meeting Celia, now Oliver falls in love; Duke Senior promises to join them in wedlock the next day. Rosalind makes Phebe promise to marry Silvius if she can't have Ganymede, then tells Orlando that Rosalind will marry him that day as well. When all have gathered for the wedding, Rosalind reveals herself as the erstwhile Ganymede. She and Orlando are happily reunited, and Phebe agrees to marry Silvius. Touchstone will also marry Audrey. As the pledges of love are exchanged, Orlando and Oliver's brother enters the scene. Jaques brings news that Duke Frederick, upon meeting a holy man, has repented his ways and opted for a monastic life. Duke Senior is restored to his rightful position, and all live happily ever after.

Dramatis Personae:

  • Duke Senior
  • Frederick, his brother; a usurper
  • Amiens, lord attending Duke
  • Jaques, lord attending Duke
  • Le Beau, a courtier
  • Charles, a wrestler
  • Oliver, son of de Boys
  • Jaques, son of de Boys
  • Orlando, son of de Boys
  • Adam, servant to Oliver
  • Dennis, servant to Oliver
  • Touchstone, a clown
  • Sir Oliver Martext, a vicar
  • Corin, a shepherd
  • Silvius, a shepherd
  • William, in love with Audrey
  • Rosalind, daughter of the Duke
  • Celia, daughter of Frederick
  • Phebe, a shepherdess
  • Audrey, a country wench
  • Person presenting Hymen
  • Lords, Pages, Foresters, and Attendants
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