Yes, As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, but why? The plot is complicated and inconsequential, the characters are not as eloquent or eccentric as in other plays; on the surface of it, it’s a play to make one rather shrug than swoon. The reason people have always loved the play, I think, is due to things not quite logical. Like love and nature, the intertwined theme of the play. Forced away from their lives at the corrupt court to the hard life of the country, most of the characters experience a longing for their essential selves, which prompts actions both deep and ridiculous. Four (count em, four!) pairs of young lovers go through all the pain and comedy we all know about or will know about, and yet, in Shakespeare’s most magnanimous love play, we get a sense that love is possible despite the impossibility of it. This unfolds alongside a gentle, almost subliminal exploration of the big questions. So we like that. And, there’s wrestling!
The play takes place in an imaginary time, in the following locales: The DeBoys’ Estate, the Town Square, The Duke’s Council Chamber, and the Forest of Arden.