In what country does Shakespeare's As You Like It take place?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The true setting of Shakespeare's play As You Like It has been argued by critics for many, many years. For some, the setting is simple: given that Shakespeare's play was influenced (some say written on) by Thomas Lodge's pastoral romance "Rosalynde," the setting of the play is France (Ardennes).

Others have argued that the play is set in a forest close to the home of William Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon). Others have suggested that the setting of the play is irrelevant, based upon the fact that the setting of a pastoral is a fictional and fantastical place, given the setting is not as important as the action of the play.

One final belief is that the play takes place in an area which would combine the area of both Arcadia (Utopian place) and Eden (biblical). This would support that the area, once again, is irrelevant. Instead, the area would only be important based upon its Utopian and Christian identity.

Essentially, the setting of the play has never been an absolute. Instead, much like other concepts in Shakesperian plays, much needs to be assumed, alluded, and imagined.

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