What are the salient features of a romantic comedy with special reference to As You Like It?
Great question. Just before I start with my response, you might want to consider how Shakespearian tragedies and comedies are different and alike. A number of critics argue that actually the dividing line between these two categories is very thin and with a couple of changes all comedies could have been made into tragedies and vice versa. However, let us proceed with identifying some similarities among Shakesperian comedies:
1) Shakesperian comedies normally involve the efforts or struggle of young lovers who want to come together but are opposed for one reason or another. They are normally resisted by elders.
2) Lots of Shakesperian comedies involve disguise, cross dressing and deception among characters - characters will dress up and pretend to be someone they are not to trick other characters
3) There are normally multiple plots that become confused resulting in a hilarious messiness in plot that is resolved by the end of the play.
4) Comedies involve a number of different types of comedy such as slapstick, puns, witty comments, comedy in terms of body language etc
5) Comedies normally involve a happy ending that ends normally in marriage and the resolution of the conflict between the lovers presented in Act I.
These are of course just guidelines - now your job is to see which of these apply to As You Like It and to what extent. Is it a happy ending for all characters for example? Good luck.