as you like it pelican edition shakespeare

As You Like It: “The Happiest of Shakespeare’s Comedies.”

In What's the Buzz by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

At Publishing Perspectives’ exploration of the complete plays (and some of the sonnets) of William Shakespeare, The Play’s The Thing, we’re in a holiday mood. So for our final play of 2012, we’re going to be reading one of his most-loved comedies, As You Like It.

How beloved is it? William Hazlitt wrote that “Shakespeare has converted the forest of Arden into another Arcadia, where they ‘fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.’ It is the most ideal of any of this author’s plays.” Tony Tanner boldly states that “This is, unambiguously, the happiest of Shakespeare’s comedies.” And Harold Bloom says of the play’s most glorious heroine, “If Rosalind cannot please us, then no one in Shakespeare or elsewhere in literature ever will. I love Falstaff and Hamlet and Cleopatra as dramatic and literary characters, but would not want suddenly to encounter them in actuality; yet falling in love with Rosalind always makes me wish that she existed in our subliterary realm.”

It is, we think, the perfect way to end the year. We hope you’ll join us.

Join in the reading here.

Purchase the play here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for children's publishing and media. He's also the author of more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers, a restaurant critic, and a literary blogger.