Literary Criticism In As You Like It By William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare, often thought of as the King of Elizabethan theater and a man with an entire structure of poetry named after him, has had his works closely studied for many years. There are many different people who have looked at his works though many different lenses and looked for many different things, but one thing that keeps popping up in many of his works is a fascination with sexuality and gender. Once people started noticing these themes in his works, it attracted a new kind of Literary Criticism; this one based in the study of Gender and Queer theories. One particular play, As You Like It, uses the confusion of gender identity and how it translates homosexual desire as main themes. As You Like It is a pastoral comedy that was written between 1598 and 1600. In it, several young people take to the forest of Arden for shelter and in this forest manage to find romance. The main character is Rosalind who is exiled by their usurper Uncle. Their cousin Celia goes with them as …show more content…
For example, many people believed women were weak, meek, and mild while men were witty, opinionated, and brave. Rosalind possess many traits considered masculine, and Ganymede allows them to make use of those traits and be themself more freely. This manifests itself in Rosalind’s (and Ganymede’s for that matter) witty, brave, and outspoken personality. In addition to those, they are not at all weak emotionally, as was believed of women of the time, and they are stubborn and prideful. When Celia suggests they disguise themselves as ugly, dirt maids to travel through the woods, Rosalind says “Were it not better because I am more than common tall, That I did suit me all points like a man” suggesting not only how resourceful they are but a certain bravery in

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