By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom, Pamela Loos
Shakespeare's romantic comedy, As you love It units up a couple of dualities, exposing the complicated relationships that exist among romance and realism, nobleman and commoner, and female and male. This research advisor features a number of feedback during the centuries on As you're keen on It.
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Additional resources for As You Like It (Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages)
She starts by questioning Phebe’s heartless behavior toward Silvius, asking who her mother must be that she feels she has the right to insult and look down upon Silvius. Rosalind’s mention of Phebe’s mother might be intended to suggest that Phebe has been brought up in an ill-mannered way. The question may also, however, refer to Phebe’s heritage. Heritage, after all, can make some people believe they are better than others; although Rosalind has shown that she does not think this way (since even as the daughter of a duke, she wants to marry Orlando rather than someone of privilege), she knows most of society does.
A picture of this kind shews the fertility of Shakespeare’s genius, his knowledge of human nature, and the accuracy of his pencil, much more than if he had represented in striking colours either of the component parts. By running them into one another, and by delineating their shades where they are gradually and almost imperceptibly blended together, the extent and delicacy of his conceptions, and his amazing powers of execution are fully evident. QQQ As You Like It in the Nineteenth Century q William Hazlitt, whose book Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays was first published in 1817, was one of the great critics of his time.
The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comick dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of his work Shakespeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers. QQQ 1767—Edward Capell. “Introduction,” from his edition of As You Like It Edward Capell was an English editor and Shakespeare critic.