56 pages 1 hour read

William Shakespeare

As You Like It

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1599

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After Reading

Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Much of the action of the play is set in the countryside and the Forest of Arden. How is country life contrasted with court life throughout the play? How does the idealization of country life reflect the pastoral genre? What is the significance of the main characters’ return to the court at the conclusion of the play?

Teaching Suggestion: Encourage students to think about the representation of the court versus the country in the context of the pastoral genre beyond Shakespeare. For example, it may be beneficial to assign students the reading of a brief passage of pastoral literature, such as Theocritus’ Idyll 1 or one of Virgil’s Eclogues, which they can compare and contrast with the play.

Differentiation Suggestion: To help to convey their written response, students with musical interests and/or intelligences might find and share a song that represents the pastoral context of the play, explaining to the class how it is representative. Students may also use photography or videography as creative ways to capture and describe this sense of place. Since the pastoral genre has been so influential in poetry, music, and the visual arts, this approach can help students appreciate the wide potential of the pastoral genre.