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As You Like It

In As You Like It, witty words and romance play out against the disputes of divided pairs of brothers. Orlando's older brother, Oliver, treats him badly and refuses him his small inheritance from their father's estate; Oliver schemes instead to have Orlando die in a wrestling match. Meanwhile, Duke Frederick has forced his older brother, Duke Senior, into exile in the Forest of Arden.

Duke Senior's daughter, Rosalind, and Duke Frederick's daughter, Celia, meet the victorious Orlando at the wrestling match; Orlando and Rosalind fall in love. Banished by her uncle, Rosalind assumes a male identity and leaves with Celia and their fool, Touchstone. Orlando flees Oliver’s murderous plots.

In the Forest of Arden, Rosalind, in her male disguise, forms a teasing friendship with Orlando. Oliver, searching for Orlando, reforms after Orlando saves his life. Rosalind reveals her identity,  triggering several weddings, including her own with Orlando and Celia’s with Oliver. Duke Frederick restores the dukedom to Duke Senior, who leaves the forest with his followers.

Early printed texts

As You Like It was first published in the 1623 First Folio and that text serves as the source for all subsequent editions of the play. 

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The opening of As You Like It in the First Folio
Item Title: 
Works. 1623] Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies : published according to the true originall copies.
Item Call Number: 
STC 22273 Fo.1 no.68
Item Creator: 
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Item Date: 
1623

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Opening of As You Like It in the Second Folio
Item Title: 
Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies. : Published according to the true originall copies.
Item Call Number: 
STC 22274 Fo.2 no.07
Item Creator: 
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Item Date: 
1632

Picturing As You Like It

As part of an NEH-funded project, the Folger digitized thousands of 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century images representing Shakespeare’s plays. Some of these images show actors in character, while others show the plays as if they were real-life events—telling the difference isn't always easy. A selection of images related to As You Like It is shown below, with links to more images available in our digital image collection. 

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Photograph of Ada Rehan as Rosalind (1890)

Ada Rehan as Rosalind (1890)

Item Title: 
[Ada Rehan as Rosalind in Shakespeare's As you like it.]
Item Call Number: 
ART Vol. b23 no.11
Item Creator: 
Rehan, Ada, 1857-1916.
Item Date: 
[1890]

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Drawing by Salvador Dalí of a costume for Rosalind (1948)

Drawing by Salvador Dalí of a costume for Rosalind (1948)

Item Title: 
William Shakespeare : Come vi piace (As you like it) nell’ edizione della Compagnia italiana di prosa, diretta da Luchino Visconti...
Item Call Number: 
ART Vol. f99
Item Creator: 
Dalí, Salvador, 1904-
Item Date: 
1948

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Maurice Barrymore as Orlando (late 19th century)

Maurice Barrymore as Orlando (late 19th century)

Item Title: 
Maurice Barrymore as Orlando [in Shakespeare's As you like it] [graphic] / Gilbert & Bacon.
Item Call Number: 
ART File B281.3 no.1 PHOTO (size XS)
Item Creator: 
Gilbert & Bacon, photographer.
Item Date: 
Phila[delphia, Pa. : s.n., late 19th century to early 20th century]

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Hugh Thomson watercolor of Orlando (Act 3, scene 2; early 20th century)

Orlando pinning his poems to a tree (Act 3, scene 2; early 20th century)

Item Title: 
[Illustrations to As you like it] [graphic] / Hu. Thomson.
Item Call Number: 
ART Box T482 no.15 (size L)
Item Creator: 
Thomson, Hugh, 1860-1920, artist.
Item Date: 
[not after 1910]

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Costume for Touchstone (1824)

Costume for Touchstone (1824)

Item Title: 
[As you like it, set of engravings of costumes for the characters in the play] [graphic].
Item Call Number: 
ART File S528a4 no.101 part 1 (size XS)
Item Date: 
[London, Eng. : John Miller, 1824]

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Print of Rosalind and Celia with Orlando (Act 1 scene 2; 1800)

Rosalind and Celia with Orlando (Act 1, Scene 2; 1800)

Item Title: 
As You Like It, Act 1, scene 2
Item Call Number: 
ART Flat b1-2 copy 1 vol.1, plate 24
Item Creator: 
John Downman; William Leney
Item Date: 
1800

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Engraving of Rosalind and Celia with Touchstone (Act 2, Scene 4; 1870)

Rosalind and Celia in the forest with Touchstone (Act 2, Scene 4; 1870)

Item Title: 
Rosalind and Celia... As you like it, Act II, sc. iv [graphic] / painted by J. E. Millais ; engraved by W. H. Simmons.
Item Call Number: 
ART File S528a4 no.110 (size XXL)
Item Creator: 
Simmons, W.H. (William Henry), 1811-1882, printmaker.
Item Date: 
London [England] : Published by Henry Graves & Co., 1870.

More images of As You Like It can be seen in our digital image collection. (Because of how they were cataloged, some images from other plays might appear in the image searches linked here, so always check the sidebar to see if the image is described as part of a larger group.)