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.
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.
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.)