The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0277 Monday, 2 February 2004
Date: Saturday, 31 Jan 2004 03:59:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0253 How Like You This?
Comment: Re: SHK 15.0253 How Like You This?
Brian Willis wrote:
>I have to admit failing to recall a single As You Like It that I
enjoyed or that left me energized. .... >I do also confess that this is
one of the very few Shakespeare plays which I can not muster >enthusiasm
for in reading it. Why is this?
Have you seen the BBC production of AYLI? I can't think of any of the
Comedies that I preferred to it. The disguised Rosalind being wooed in a
practice session by Orlando, the Seven Ages of Man speech to name just
two things that spring to mind..
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
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