As You Like It
Considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, As You Like It is, on one level, a merry amusement, but on a deeper level, the characters discuss love, aging, the natural world, and death. Rosalind, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior, falls in love with Orlando, the disinherited son of one of the duke’s friends. When she is banished from court by her usurping uncle Duke Frederick, Rosalind disguises herself as Ganymede and travels with her loyal cousin Celia and the jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden where her father and his friends live in exile. Orlando joins the outcasts and, seeing an opportunity to test his love, Rosalind engages him in a game of role-playing. By the play’s end, Rosalind marries her Orlando, and Celia and Orlando’s mean older brother Oliver are also wed. As Oliver becomes a kinder young man, so does Duke Frederick change his ways, and the exiled Duke Senior rules once again.