full title As You Like It
author William Shakespeare
type of work Play
genre Comedy, pastoral
time and place written 1598–1600; London, England
date of first publication First published in the Folio of 1623
publisher Isaac Jaggard and Edmund Blount
tone Comic, romantic
setting (time) Sixteenth century
setting (place) France, primarily the fictional Forest of Ardenne
major conflict Rosalind and Orlando fall in love, but Rosalind is unjustly banished from Duke Frederick’s court; Orlando is both denied his birthright by his jealous brother Oliver and forced to flee from the vindictive Duke Frederick.
rising action In order to teach Orlando how to be a proper husband to her, Rosalind disguises herself as a young man named Ganymede and instructs him in the ways of love.
climax Rosalind promises to marry Orlando and gets Phoebe to agree to marry Silvius, should things go awry with her beloved Ganymede, who is actually Rosalind in disguise.
falling action Rosalind, appearing as herself, marries Orlando, and Phoebe marries Silvius.
themes The delights of love; the malleability of the human experience; city life versus country life
motifs Artifice; homoeroticism; exile
symbols Orlando’s poems; the slain deer; Ganymede
foreshadowing Rosalind’s uncharacteristically awkward first encounter with Orlando anticipates the depth of her affection for him.