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"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:"
-- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7
'As You Like It' has many things to commend it as a play. It is entertaining and filled with fantastic lines. It contains many of Shakespeare's favorite tropes: gender bending, mistaken/hidden identities, family squabbles/usurpation, love/lust, revenge, etc. It starts off well too -- but in the end, for me, it just sort of fizzles and farts out a bit. Limps out, perhaps, is a better way of stating it. Surrenders to an almost contrived and overly neat "happy Hymen ending". THIS is Shakespeare at his most fit. He is at the top of his game. This play, however, seems to be a bit phoned in at the end. Perhaps, Shakespeare knew he was about to deliver Hamlet.
Also, to be fair, this play does GET a lot of play. It is a crowd pleaser. A romance. A fancy. So, perhaps I'm just wanting him, unfairly, to hit home runs every time at bat. Mostly, I was displeased with how easily the villains (if you could call them that) turned. What? Suddenly, out of the blue Oliver de Boys sees the light? What? And all it takes is for Duke Frederick to run into a hermit in the woods and becomes religious. Ok. Weak, but OK.
Also, I'm not a big fan of music in Shakespeare's plays. Some probably dig it. I'm not in that camp.
Here are, however, some of my favorite lines, as you like:
-- "Always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits." (Act I, Scene 2)
-- "I earn that I eat, get that I wear,
owe no man hate,
envy no man's happiness,
glad of other men's good,
content with my harm." (Act 3, Scene 2)
-- "Time travels in divers paces with divers persons." (Act 3, Scene 2)
-- "Men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives." (Act 4, Scene 1)
-- "Oh! how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes." (Act 5, Scene 2)
8 of 11 people found this review helpful
I read along with the version edited by Dolan, and I believe there was only 1 word that was different from this version. I cant imagine having to read this alone/without separate voices. Well done.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful