The World’s Our Stage We Are The Players

4 April 2015
An analysis of As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

This paper introduces and discusses As You Like It by William Shakespeare. Specifically, it illustrates how Jaques’ speech informs the readers of the play’s intent, and how the binary relationships in the play add to its meaning and performance.
We also learn more about Jaques, the pessimistic grumbler who is the opposite of Rosalind and Celia, two of the optimists of the play. Almost all the characters chide Jaques about his attitude at some time or other during the play. Jaques is the anchor role that keeps this romantic comedy from becoming too buoyant and unbelievable. He is sour, and keeps the action from becoming too sappy. He is the melancholy character, opposite of the witty and laughable Touchstone, the jester. Shakespeare knew that you cannot have only positive and funny characters to get the point of the play across, you need to balance them with the cynicism of a character like Jaques to really create a realistic portrayal of his themes and issues. Touchstone is a jester, but so is Jaques in his own way. His consistent pessimism is as ridiculous as Touchstone’s jesting.

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The World's Our Stage We Are The Players. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 25, 2020, from
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