Significance of title "As You Like It" by Shakespeare for my project.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Shakespeare apparently was highlighting the fact that he was presenting a play with the ingredients he knew his audiences would like. The play contains ingredients that are still very popular with audiences today.

One ingredient is escapism. The principal characters have either escaped to a peaceful, picturesque setting where life is very easy, or those who have not already escaped are being drawn there. There is something magical about the setting. Rosalind and Celia go to the Forest of Arden to find Rosalind's father. Orlando and Adam go there to escape from Orlando's brother. Touchstone goes there because he is attached to both Rosalind and Celia. Eventually even Orlando's cruel brother goes there and is spiritually transformed by the setting.

Another ingredient that audiences "like" is music. Shakespeare provides several songs throughout the play.

Audiences like love stories, and Shakespeare provides these generously. The main love story is the affair between Rosalind and Orlando, but even Touchstone has his love story. There is a combination of love and comedy in the fact that Rosalind in disguise has made another female fall in love with her.

Audiences love comedy, and Shakespeare provides all sorts of funny dialogue and comical situations. One of the most comical is the odd relationship between Rosalind and Orlando. Orlando is in love with Rosalind but it practicing courtship with her without knowing that she is disguised as Ganymede. Touchstone is a typical Shakespearean clown. Jacques is funny with his melacholy humor.

Audiences love adventure, and there is a lot of danger in the plot. Rosalind and Celia are in danger. Orlando is in danger. Even the Duke Senior and his men are living outlaw lives like Robin Hood.

Audiences like happy endings, and Shakespeare wraps up his complex story with happy endings for all concerned. He doesn't seem much concerned about plausibility or verisimilitude in his endings, because he has informed the audience with his title that he is giving them just what they like. In other words, the story is not intended to be taken too seriously.


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