Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darn fine, dirt cheap
Whew...this story has an even faster plot turn about than Austen's Pride and Prejudice. If one is not careful, you--like me, may suffer "plausibility whiplash." That said, As You Like It is a delightful example of Shakespearean comedy. Jaques is one of my favorites from Shakespeare's stable of characters. Things get renewed, folks get married, fortunes are restored. Good...
Published on March 27 2002 by Cry the Name

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Idyllic play - for romantics
This has to be one of Shakespeare's gayest plays (no pun intended). Whatever tragedy may have occurred in the beginning - at the court - is totally forgotten when the action moves to the forest, where Robin-hood like; a banished duke, a melancholy philosopher and a cast of love sick characters act out their lives on the stage.
Much of the play is centered on Rosalind...
Published on Nov. 20 2003 by MrSherlockHolmes


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darn fine, dirt cheap, March 27 2002
By 
Cry the Name (this temple of silence and stars) - See all my reviews
Whew...this story has an even faster plot turn about than Austen's Pride and Prejudice. If one is not careful, you--like me, may suffer "plausibility whiplash." That said, As You Like It is a delightful example of Shakespearean comedy. Jaques is one of my favorites from Shakespeare's stable of characters. Things get renewed, folks get married, fortunes are restored. Good Stuff. I must also mention how much I like these Signet Classic Shakespeare texts. They are darn fine (good intros, critical pieces, and source info) and dirt cheap.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Idyllic play - for romantics, Nov. 20 2003
This has to be one of Shakespeare's gayest plays (no pun intended). Whatever tragedy may have occurred in the beginning - at the court - is totally forgotten when the action moves to the forest, where Robin-hood like; a banished duke, a melancholy philosopher and a cast of love sick characters act out their lives on the stage.
Much of the play is centered on Rosalind - the female lead in 'drag' - who falls in love with the third son of a nobleman, Orlando, who has been cheated out of his inheritance by his eldest brother. Her father, the duke, has also been cheated by a brother and is now living in the forest with his 'merry men'. Her short stay at court is disrupted when her uncle changes his mind about her and 'graciously' gives her a few days to get out of the kingdom. This event leads to her escape into the forests with her cousin, the daughter of the duke at Court. As the play progresses more and more characters end up in the forest which becomes the stage where all these actors play out their parts - to paraphrase Jacques.
As a reader you sometimes have to suspend rationality in order to swallow some of the larger than life events that occur in this story (The snake - Lion - Lion killer scene for example). It's not meant to be taken too seriously I'd imagine, just a play about love and romance and the lengths one will go to because of love. The only rational person in this play seems to be the Malvolio-like Jacques, whose deer hugging antiques (forerunner of modern day Environmentalism?) and refusal to take part in the revelry make him the butt of the other's jokes. Even the clown seems to have been pierced by Cupid's arrows as he too weds a country 'wench', something unheard of in the other plays where the clowns all seem to be eunuchs.
If you're reeling from any of Shakespeare's tragedies, or want to escape the ordered, (courtly?) existence that is your life and take a dive into an almost fantasy-like world where all is love and laughter, this play may be your ticket.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Many Appealing Facets of Shakespeare's Talent!, Oct. 14 2001
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: As You Like It (Audio Cassette)
As You Like It has many qualities to attract readers and audiences. Rosalind is one of the great heroines of all romantic literature. The play has more outstanding speeches than almost any other that has ever been written. Astonishing plot complications are quickly resolved in the simplest possible way, reflecting a playwright's tour de force. The Forest of Arden appears as a character in creating a magical atmosphere whereby all perceptions change, and all are healed. Right wins out, especially in drawing on good character . . . even from formerly badly behaving people. And for those who love marriages, this book has one of the most impressive ceremonies of all time in literature. Humans have never looked nobler in the end than in this play. Yet the play also abounds with some of the greatest lines of Shakespeare's fools that cause all of us to see that humility is more called for than pride or ambition. Certainly, As You Like It will make you feel the presence of an unmatched genius, that should inspire even the most arrogant to feel humbled in the Bard's presence.
My recommendation is that you first see a performance (whether in person, or on a recording). If that's not possible, try for an audio. Many outstanding actors have been taped. After you have the sights and sounds of the play firmly in mind, then read the play. You'll find that your earlier experiences will unlock more of the play's depths, imagery and pleasures for you.
Where in life is being true to your word very important? How can you improve your life by being more reliable in this way?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Shakespeare play that doesn't read very well at all., July 5 2001
'As you like it' is one of those Shakespearean plays that is considered 'great' by critics, but never really found true popular acclaim, perhaps due to the absence of charismatic characters (the romantic hero is particularly wet) or compelling dilemmas.
It shares many features with the great comedies - the notion of the forest as a magic or transformative space away from tyrannical society ('A Midsummer night's dream'); the theme of unrequited love and gender switching from 'Twelfth night'; the exiled Duke and his playful daughter from 'The Tempest'. But these comparisons only point to 'AYLI''s comparative failure (as a reading experience anyway) - it lacks the magical sense of play of the first; the yearning melancholy of the second; or the elegiac complexity of the third.
It starts off brilliantly with a first act dominated by tyrants: an heir who neglects his younger brother, and a Duke who resents the popularity of his exiled brother's daughter (Rosalind). there is an eccentric wrestling sequence in which a callow youth (Orlando) overthrows a giant. Then the good characters are exiled to Arden searching for relatives and loved ones.
Theoretically, this should be good fun, and you can see why post-modernist critics enjoy it, with its courtiers arriving to civilise the forest in the language of contemporary explorers, and the gender fluidity and role-play; but, in truth, plot is minimal, with tiresomely pedantic 'wit' to the fore, especially when the melancholy scholar-courtier Jacques and Fool Touchstone are around, with the latter's travesties of classical learning presumably hilarious if you're an expert on Theocritus and the like.
As an English pastoral, 'AYLI' doesn't approach Sidney's 'Arcadia' - maybe it soars on stage. (Latham's Arden edition is as frustrating as ever, with scholarly cavilling creating a stumbling read, and an introduction which characteristically neuters everything that makes Shakespeare so exciting and challenging)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible comedy-- try to see it performed if possible, May 2 2000
As You Like It boasts one of Shakespeare's most vivid, romantic, and just plain fun heroines, Rosalind. She breaks all the rules and then makes up her own; she fools her true love into wooing her while he is absolutely unaware of who she is.
Then there's Jaques. Melancholy, cynical, yet hysterical in his own way; pay special attention to his "All the world's a stage" speech at the end of Act III. And don't forget Touchstone, the fool...
I don't want to give the plot away. There are so many surprises, so many unexpected twists-- this is one of Shakespeare's more complicated (if not deeper) plays. If at all possible, try to see at least one performance of it. The one I most recently saw had the entire audience in stitches from the first act to the final, multiple weddings and all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as u like it!!, Dec 23 2001
By 
"springnight" (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
This book was one of my best loved Shakespeare's plays. It really gave me comfort and laugh whenever I read it. I hope in real lifre I can find a forest like the one in the play so I can hide my self there and live "as I like it". Rosaind is the best female character in the literature for her sense of humour and intelligence, and passion. Orlando reminds all those who ever loved of their first love, the bittersweet and compelling passion that one is not capable of getting rid of. If you had spare time, you really should read this play, I guarantee the language in this play is not that hard and you will find yourself so into this fantastic tale once you started reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars don't get it, May 4 2003
By A Customer
i've watched two different versions of this play and still can't see what the fuss is about. yes, rosalind is a charming character, but the main storyline is limp, and the secondary storyline is far too weak to be a serious contrast of corrupted courtly life versus virtuous idyllic existence. the fool is sometimes funny especially in his courtship of the young lass, and jaques the 'philosopher' has some nice lines, but the whole thing goes nowhere. i need to read this play to see what i'm missing. but based on my two viewings, i don't get it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars NEVER PICTURE PERFECT, May 13 2003
Anyone with a working knowledge of Shakespeare's plays knows that As You Like It is a light, airy comedy. It is clearly not one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. As You Like It is more obscure than famous. Even amongst the comedies it comes nowhere close to the popularity of plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, or Twelfth Night. That said, it is a treasure in its own right. This is so, if for nothing else, because it contains one of the greatest pictures of a woman to be found in Shakespeare's works, excluding the Sonnets.
Ah, sweet Rosalind. In her are encapsulated so many ideas about the nature of woman. She is first pictured in a rather faux-Petrarchan manner. This quickly fades as an intelligent woman comes to the fore. While the intelligence remains, she is also torn by the savage winds of romantic love. Rosalind, in all her complexity and self-contradiction, is a truly modern female character.
Most of the women in Shakespeare's tragedies and historical plays are either window dressing (as in Julius Caesar) or woefully one-sided (Ophelia, Lady Macbeth). This is not the case with Rosalind. Rather than being marginalized, she is the focus of a good chunk of the play. Instead of being static and [standard], she is a complex evolving character.
When Rosalind first appears, she outwardly looks much like any other lady of the court. She is a stunning beauty. She is much praised for her virtue. Both of these elements factor in the Duke's decision to banish or [do away with] her.
Rosalind falls in love immediately upon seeing Orlando. In this way she at first seems to back up a typically courtly idea of "love at first sight." Also, she initially seems quite unattainable to Orlando. These are echoes of Petrarchan notions that proclaim love to be a painful thing. This dynamic is stood on its head following her banishment.
Rosalind begins to question the certainty of Orlando's affection. She criticizes his doggerel when she finds it nailed to a tree. Rather than wilting like some medieval flower, she puts into effect a plan. She seeks to test the validity of her pretty-boy's love. In the guise of a boy herself, she questions the deceived Orlando about his love.
Yet Rosalind is not always so assured. Her steadfastness is not cut and dried. Composed in his presence, Rosalind melts the second Orlando goes away. She starts spouting romantic drivel worthy of Judith Krantz. Even her best friend Celia seems to tire of her love talk. This hesitating, yet consuming passion is thrown into stark relief with her crystal clear dealings with the unwanted advances of the shepherdess Phebe.
Rosalind contradicts herself in taking the side of Silvius in his pursuit of Phebe. She seeks to help Silvius win the love of Phebe because of his endearing constancy. Yet the whole reason she tests Orlando is the supposed inconstancy of men's affections.
This idea of Male inconstancy has made its way down to the present day. Men are seen, in many circles, as basically incapable of fidelity. Though a contradiction to her treatment of Silvius' cause, Rosalind's knowing subscription to pessimistic views on the constancy of a man's love places her on the same playing field as many modern women.
Rosalind takes charge of her own fate. Until and even during Shakespeare's own time women largely were at the mercy of the men around them. This is satirized in Rosalind's assuming the appearance of a man. Yet she had taken charge of her life even before taking on the dress and likeness of a man. She gives her token to Orlando. She decides to go to the Forest. She makes the choice of appearing like a man to ensure her safety and the safety of Celia.
Rosalind finally finds balance and happiness when she comes to love not as a test or game, but as an equal partnership. Shakespeare is clearly critiquing the contemporary notions of love in his day. His play also condemns society's underestimation and marginalization of women. However, the Bard's main point is more profound.
As You Like It makes it clear that the world is never picture perfect, even when there are fairy-tale endings. Men and women both fail. Love is the most important thing. With love all things are possible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars wow........., Jan. 8 2002
By 
As all the other comedies of Shakespeare, As You Like It has the same witty exchange of insults between the men, and prolonged talk of nonsense between the women. But despite the many similarities of them all, the complex story line of As You Like It sends everyone on a wild roller coaster ride of bumps, turns, and drop-offs. You never know what to expect. Will Duke Senior spend the rest of his life in misery? Will Orlando except Rosalind's ornate show of affection?

I believe this is truly one of Shakespeare's best because through the life-threatening situation posed by the Duke, such love and romance is produced between his victims and such joy and laughter is shared along the way.

One can hardly realize the danger at hand while getting lost in the ingenious juggling of metaphors, and poetic verses along the way. The young and innocent thoughts of love spring forth from the mouths of Celia and Rosalind. Jacques speaks nothing but educated disdain of this world. And while Orlando's mind should be filled fear and hate, he is distracted by immense joy and infatuation, causing a mix of emotion show on his lips. It is in this story where these three tones collide and interweave to create a mountain of sophisticated dialogue over nothing of any sense.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Analyze and Enjoy!, April 7 2000
The first time I read this book, I thought it was onlyfair. When I had a better understanding of Shakespeare, I gave it a2nd chance and realized it was excellent. At times it moves slow, but that is only because Shakespeare is trying to present several events. First we have a realistic dispute between two brothers. We also have a wicked duke who stole his brother's kingdom. The banished duke and his loyal followers are memorable as they praise life in the wilderness. Jaques offers the memorable passage on the 7 stages of man. Rosalind is very captivating as the banished duke's daughter. 5.2 is poetically and comically drawn when poor Rosalind has to keep telling Phebe she is for no woman. There is even a tribute to Christopher Marlowe in this play when Phebe attributes a line from Marlowe's "Hero and Leander" to a dead shepherd. (Marlowe died before this play.) But perhaps Shakespeare's greatest accomplishment is gathering all of these characters with their different circumstances together. END
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

As You like It
As You like It by William (1564-1616) Shakespeare (Hardcover - 1903)
Used & New from: CDN$ 294.00
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews