As You Like It is a pastoral, in that it conforms to the conventions of the pastoral. It is a satire of the pastoral, in that it calls attention to the artificiality of the pastoral ideal. The Forest of Arden represents both, in that it becomes the locale that permits characters to shed the responsibilities of society and is the site where everyone goes a little love-crazy.
Orlando is one example of the how the play works as a satire. Smitten with love for Rosalind, Orlando spends his time writing (presumably) pastoral love poems, which he attaches to the trees of the forest, making the forest his accomplice in wooing Rosalind. Rosalind, for her part, in pretending to be a male, in effect has two genders, and is able to play both sides of the pastoral situation, as both the woman being seduced and the seducer herself.
As You Like It is both a pastoral and a satire of the pastoral genre. Critic Rene Girard outlines this in his chapter on the play in his book A Theater of Envy.
As You Like It
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