A favourite with audiences and critics alike, Shakespeare's As You Like It owes part of its appeal to its seemingly endless capacity for recreation. Despite the apparent simplicity of its plot, it offers a whole gamut of emotions and engages with the act of counterfeiting, thereby proposing a multiplicity of mirror games, from its binary and symmetrical structure to its linguistic games and ritual inversions. Yet, the comedy's "true delights" (5.4.182) should not overshadow its deep social and political relevance.
This volume intends to shed fresh light on Shakespeare's "green" comedy so as to emphasise its powerful resonances today. Divided into four parts, it first deals with some of the main ecocritical issues at work in the play before examining Shakespeare’s reassessment of human nature. The volume then proceeds with the experimental dimension of As You Like It and explores specific issues related to staging and editing.
An Epilogue presented as a question-and-answer session provides clarifying remarks on the comedy’s rich literary background. Working with a variety of approaches, these essays highlight the complexity of a fascinating play while taking stock of the recent critical trends in Shakespearean studies.
Note on Contributors
Michèle Vignaux (Lumière Lyon 2 University)
Part 1: Nature is your only philosopher
1. "'Winter and rough weather': Arden's Climate in As You Like It"
Sophie Chiari (Clermont Auvergne University)
2. "'These trees shall be my book’: Reading Trees in As You Like It"
Jean-Louis Claret (Aix Marseille University)
3. “From Elders to Medlars in the Forest of Arden”
Ladan Niayesh (University of Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
Part 2: Becoming truly human
4. “‘Tradition takes not away my blood’: Primoge/nature in Shakespeare’s As You Like It”
Sélima Lejri (University of Humanities and Social Science and École Normale Supérieure, Tunis)
5. “Butchers and Wrestlers in As You Like It”
Anne-Valérie Dulac (Paris 13 University)
6. “Augustinian Pessimism and Aristotelian Optimism in As You Like It”
Kathleen French (University of Sydney)
7. “‘[B]etter strangers’: The Politics of Translation in As You Like It”
Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (École Normale Supérieure, Lyon)
Part 3: The experimental dimension of As You Like It
8. “Who Am I, How am I, and What Am I? Unresolved Gender and Sexual Identification in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It”
Shawna Guenther (Dalhousie University)
9. “Essays on Virtue: As You Like It as Shakespeare’s Essays”
William West (Northwestern University)
10. “‘Discord in the Spheres’: Revising Marlowe in As You Like It”
Roy Eriksen (Agder University)
11. “At One Together: As You Like It and the Politics of The United Kingdom”
Richard Wilson (Kingston University)
Part 4: As You Like It from stage to page
12. “‘No temple but the wood[en]’: Stagecraft and the Staging of Materiality in Shakespeare’s As You Like It”
Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise (University of Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle)
13. “How Did they Like It? The Challenges of Recreating the Elizabethan Staging Conditions of As You Like It”
Chantal Schütz (École Polytechnique)
14. “The Truest Scholarship is the Most Faining: The Genesis and Afterlife of an Edition”
Michael Hattaway (New York University in London)
Epilogue “As You Like It Revisited”
François Laroque (University of Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Pierre Iselin (University of Paris-Sorbonne): “Shakespeare As You Like It”
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