Now, after we’ve had a jolly romp with King John; it’s time to back track a little into some sort of introductory note. As You Like It became the name for this column from both my love for the play and some symbolic themes. I titled the column to reflect the theme of reinventing something for the benefit of yourself and others.
‘As You Like It’ is, in a way, a play about becoming what you want and transforming to cater to a situation for the maximum fulfillment of all parties. A reinvented way of looking at things often brings enjoyment and a pleasant surprise. That’s the aim with ‘As You Like It’ as a column – taking a look from a different perspective to get a delightful new way of interacting with Shakespeare’s text.
In ‘As You Like It’ the play, Rosalind changes her outward gender appearance to ease her and Celia’s experience as common folk living in the countryside. In this way, she optimizes her power as a person (their world, unfortunately, is not one of gender equality), and allows for the protection of her dear cousin, Celia. Both these things satisfy her personal wants at the time of her decision. It is a decision that also enables her, later on in the play, to communicate openly with her love interest, Orlando; an impossibility in her former life of woman-at-court. So we see that change can be a good thing; and sometimes switching around the way you approach something leads to new and lovely results.
Like Rosalind, I too am open to the idea of change for mutual satisfaction. I endeavor, by changing around the viewpoint from which I approach Shakespeare and his works, to bring to light some different, surprising, and hopefully delightful elements for us all to revel in together.