Explain how As You Like It is a comedy.

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The definition of comedy has changed considerably over time. The Ancient Greeks, who had no specific genre for satire (the only literary form invented by the Romans), tended to produce satirical comedies which made didactic political or moral points. Aristotle says in the Poetics that tragedy shows men at their best, and comedy shows them at their worst. This is a reference to the traditional vices of the stock comic characters: greed, lechery, vanity, and foolishness. While the characters in As You Like It are by no means Aristophanic stereotypes, several critics, including Tolstoy, have remarked on their loose morals.

By the time Shakespeare wrote As You Like It (probably in or around 1599), the conventions of Elizabethan comedy were well defined. Chief among these was a happy ending with one or more marriages. As You Like It has considerably more; it has four, in fact: Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, Silvius and Phoebe, and Touchstone and Audrey. Another convention was the liberal use of prose....

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 648 words.)

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