Saturday, April 27, 2013

May 31, 2013 -- "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare

Meeting Information:
Date: Friday, May 31, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: KC Plaza Branch Library
Address: 4801 Main Street
We meet in the Small Meeting Room

Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English Language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.  Thus our group always selects one of his works each year for discussion. We selected "As You Like It" because it is being performed this summer in Kansas City's "Shakespeare In The Park" performances.

As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 and first published in the First Folio, 1623.

Here is a good video review from PBS of "As You Like It" from minute 30 to the end (the first half is about Twelfth Night):


Clif Hostetler said...

Eleven people attended our meeting on May 31. Discussing a love story written by the master of English literature, what can be more enjoyable than that? Lovers in attendance included Marty Hattan, Pam Bauer, Kathryn Harris, Bo Smith , John Rasmus, Tim and Debbie Lavin, Bernard Norcott/Mahany, Diane Cassity, Christopher Riels, Clif Hostetler

Clif Hostetler said...

At our meeting to discuss "As You Like It" I was impressed with Pam Bauer's extensive notes. I asked her to send them to me so I could share here (and be available for future reference). Her notes need to be spread over several comments because of limitations set by e-blogger.

Pam Bauer “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare

Five Acts written: 1599; (based on 1590 prose romance ”Rosalynde” by Thomas Lodge).
(Next yr, WS wrote “Hamlet” one of his longest).

AYLI uses both Prose (common English) and Verse (high style “thee, thou, thy”). (Compared with “Richard III” 1592: all in verse; “Merry Wives of Windsor” 1597: most prose of any other WS play.

Roz played by boy in 1599. From 19th century, played in open air. NYC’s Park Theatre first production in 1798. Women played her by then.

Only Act I at Court/City. From Act 2, Scene 4 rest of play in Country/Forest of Arden or Ardenne. This forest may be in France, but evidently there’s debate since men banished are described as like Robin Hood in dress, so location might be England.

Rosalind: daughter of Duke Sr., also “Ganymede” a lad; niece of Duke Frederick. “Roz”

Celia: Roz’s cousin & daughter of Duke Frederick. Runs away w/Roz.
Touchstone: Court Jester goes w/Roz & Celia to forest. He falls asap for Audrey (plain, not bright goatherd. My Mom played on KCU Playhouse stage in late 1950s.) He is gabby. Verbal duels w/Jaques who thinks him an idiot. Touchstone drives off William who loves Audrey. It’s not clear why Touchstone is attracted to her other than he can seem to mentally dominate her. If she’s played sexy, that may also be the lure.

Duke Frederick: Celia’s dad who banished Duke Sr, then later Roz. Jealous, suspicious of well-liked other people.
Charles: his wrestler who beats ORL in Act I.
Le Beau: his courtier.

Orlando: youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois;
Adam, old servant banished w/ORL.
Brother Jaques de Bois has only 16 lines at end to tie up plot: “The Schilling Speech.”
Oliver, oldest brother, who banishes them both and takes their lands and $.
Denis, his servant.

(melancholy) Jaques, lord in forest w/Duke Sr. As Forest Philosopher gives wise, witty, sarcastic comments esp re: Touchstone.

Silvius, young shepherd loves Phoebe, the shepherdess. Idealized, pastoral romance.

Hymen god of marriage and Sir Oliver Martext, country clergy.

Clif Hostetler said...

(Pam Bauer, page two) “AS YOU LIKE IT”


Wonderful word play on various subjects. Country VS Court. Love at 1st Sight. Time. Fortune vs Nature. Characters bucolic vs aristocratic.
Plot is mostly suspended for scintillating conversations once Roz and Celia hit forest and begin to verbally spar.
Fools/jesters were real at Queen’s Court. Touchstone and sad Jaques commentators here. In other plays: “Bottom,” “Falstaff.”
Roz gradual deeper love for ORL VS Touchstone/Audrey’s down-to-earth, unromantic coupling; VS Silvius/Phoebe’s idealized, pastoral romance.

PLOT is lame: love at first sight: ORL&ROZ. Both banished to forest separately. He pins or carves love poems on the trees. She dons boy’s garb (“Ganymede”) and pretends to be curing him of his love of her. No one recognizes her including her dad Duke Sr.
Celia & Touchstone in on it.
Phoebe, loved by Silvius, falls for Ganymede (the disguised ROZ). In last act, ROZ comes out as herself to marry ORL, turn Phoebe back to Silvius, reunite with her Dad: Duke Sr. Also on this occasion, Touchstone marries Audrey. OLV also marries Celia (they just met).


How many yrs had Duke Sr, & Jaques been banished in forest when this began?
Cast has two Jaques and two Olivers. Was this confusing in 1599?


“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players on it. Each man, in his time, plays many parts.”

“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”

Jaques speech in Act 2, Scene 7 on the Seven Ages of Man.

Many poems/tunes: “under the greenwood tree, who loves to lie with me?”

Clif Hostetler said...

(Pam Bauer, page 3) “AS YOU LIKE IT”

W. SHAKESPEARE lived: 1564 to 1616. He was 52 years old when he died.
AYLI written when he was 35. He began writing when 25 yrs old. He wrote to please audiences (not readers).


Very popular play. Popular actors loved to portray Roz, Jaques and Touchstone.
“One of the dullest plays ever written.” Director Richard Watts, 1937.
A “smiling artificial comedy.” Other comments suggested a dull comedy, w/antic coyness, strenuous high spirits, and the emotional battles are not to be taken serious.
1896, Geo. Bernard Shaw didn’t like play but praised the use of prose compared to plays in the usual blank verse. “The first scene was worth 10 acts of ordinary Elizabethan sing song.”
Also was thought WS’s least effective denouement: suddenly Frederick converts, goes to a monastery and gives back dukedom.

ROSALIND: Comments: Her role is actor proof. “Who ever failed as Rosalind”? Also: Roz is sweet and lovely; the whole play presents the perfect female reduced to five minutes.
She is not a complete human being. She is five minutes of a charming woman’s life extended to five acts. On the positive side, she was described as affectionate, fortunate, delightful.

DOZENS of ACTRESSES PLAYED ROZ: including Lilly Langtry and Maude Adams in 19th century and Katherine Hepburn in 1950.
Salvatore Dali designed costumes, scenery, in 1948 in a Rome production.

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer

Act 1.1 COURT
(ENTER): Orlando (ORL) begins (Prologue) w/servant Adam. ORL complains that his brother Oliver (OLVR) belittles him, spends none of his entitled inheritance on him, or his education or upbringing to become gentleman unlike his brother Jaques. “Horses are bred better.”
OLVR enters. They confront and tussle. ORL tries to choke him. OLV throws him out with
“old dog”Adam. ORL/Adam both exit.

OLVR mutters there will be no $ for ORL. (ENTER) Duke Frederick’s servant Charles, the champion wrestler for tomorrow’s event. Charles has news: old Duke Sr and his lords were banished by young Duke Frederick (FRED) who also took his brother’s wealth. “Is (Rosalind) gone too?” No she’s gone to her cousin Celia’s – her best friend. ROZ is under Duke FREDs’ protection now. Old Duke Sr’s gone to Forest of Ardenne where they live like Robin Hood.
Charles also announces ORL has challenged him to tomorrow’s wrestling match but worries about hurting ORL. He asks OLVR to calm ORL, persuade him to back out. OLVR instead suggests ORL wants to destroy Charles and to go after him strongly. (Charles EXIT) OLVR mutters he hates ORL, wants him hurt; admits many love ORL’s virtues. (EXIT)

Act 1.2 COURT
(ENTER) Rosalind (ROZ) and Celia. Celia is happy to care for her dear friend ROZ and says if situation reversed, ROZ and her father Duke Sr would shelter her. ROZ makes up game: “Fall in Love” to cheer them up. Verbal joist #1 ensues about what is deciding factor: a person’s birth status or the events that occur: NATURE VS FORTUNE.

(ENTER) Touchstone the Clown (Duke Fred’s court jester) joins girls to debate whether a nobleman’s sworn word is unquestionably true because of his status, regardless of the superficiality of the matter: Verbal joist #2 HONOUR VS OATHS.
He questions what is Honour; What is value of oaths made w/o honor by a Knight just because they are favored by Old Duke or FRED?
“When wise men speak foolishly; fools can speak wisely.”

(ENTER) Duke Fred’s courtier Le Beau who announces 3 wrestlers already injured by Charles. ORL’s match ready to begin. (ENTER) ORL who both girls try to talk him out of or at least to limit to one round.
ORL Wins! Charles is carried out. Duke Fred meets and congratulates ORL (Fred and ORL’s dad were enemies). (EXIT all but girls and ORL) ROZ’s dad loved ORL’s dad. Both girls praise him; Celia gives him her chain. ROZ lingers, totally taken w/him and vice versa:
“Love at First Sight.” Girls (EXIT).
(ENTER) Le Beau, Fred’s courtier and warns ORL of FRED’s anger and that Duke FRED wants ORL gone. ORL declares love for ROZ.

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer
Act 1.3 COURT
(ENTER) Girls: Celia can’t figure out ROZ’s sudden infatuation w/ORL. She debates: Is it due to their fathers’ friendship? (No, because Celia also likes ORL but her Dad FRED hates ORL). Why? Why? They call this debate “wrestling.” Verbal joist #3 LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.
(ENTER) Duke FRED w/men who order ROZ out in 10 days to death. She pleads for reasons.
Says she’s been there for years; Celia pleads, Says she’ll go too.
FRED is angry over Duke Sr’s “treachery which now tarnishes ROZ. ROZ denies the logic. Similar to girls’ private debate on ORL. Verbal joist #4 REASON VS EMOTIONS (FEELINGS).
FRED says Celia will get star attention w/o ROZ. (EXIT Fred)
Girls plan to escape to Argonne Forest to ROZ’s dad Duke SR. To be safe, tall slim Roz will dress as boy “Ganymede” Jove’s page. Celia, dressed as shepherdess “Aliena” (an alien) will take her jewels and wealth plus the Court Jester: Touchstone.

Act 2.1 FOREST
(ENTER) Duke Sr in Forest w/his forester-dressed lords including Amiens. Duke Sr extols the outdoors, cold weather. No books, sermons, prepared foods. His “bad fortune” is good. Two more verbal joists: COURT VS PASTORAL plus NATURE VS FORTUNE.

All agree w/Duke Sr’s love of forest life but Lord JAQUE (melancholy) weeps pointing out animals killed whether in city or woods. He sits by arrow-wounded dying deer. Duke SR asks to see him. The dead animal’s horns are used as prop.

Act 2.2
(ENTER) Duke FRED, lords at court. Discuss ROZ and Celia gone and that both fancied ORL. FRED sends ORL’s other brother Jaques to find them. (EXIT)

Act 2.3
At Court, ORL meets his father’s old servant ADAM who reveals brother FRED plans to burn down ORL’s lodging & him in it. Adam praises ORL’s wrestling win. ORL frets where to go w/o $. Adam gives him $500 in gold, his life savings from his 17-yrs duty at court. ORL sneers at the current class of servants who only seek fast promotion, unlike the good old days when servants were like Adam.

Act 2.4 (in FOREST the rest of play unless noted)
ROZ as Ganymede, CELIA as shepherdess, TOUCHSTONE as clown finally reach Ardenne Forest. (ENTER old shepherd SILVIUS & young shepherd CORIN. SILVIUS wails, besotted w/PHOEBE. ROZ overhears. SILVIUS exits. CORIN & TOUCHSTONE each muse on past LOVE: Love in nature, mortal love, love’s folly.
The three ask CORIN for food and shelter. CELIA gives him gold, buys his cottage, pasture and flock but keep him as shepherd. Example of well-born improving misfortune (ALL EXIT)

Act 2.5
(ENTER) Singing Foresters w/Amiens, melancholy Jaques, other lords. “Under the Greenwood Tree…” Sad Jaques loves it; wants more sad tunes:
“I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs.”
He’s been avoiding Duke Sr. all day; he argues that only an idiot leaves the wealth and ease of court and be happy. His opinionated soliloquy illustrates: NATURE VS FORTUNE.

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer
Act 2.6
(ENTER) ORL and old Adam exhausted/starving reach Ardennes. ORL carries Adam in; goes off to find help.

Act 2.7
Duke Sr w/Robin Hood-dressed Lords seek sad Jaques who comes in, carrying a sun dial in his pack. Long speech: “I met a Motley Fool in the Forest who contemplates Time.”
He muses on: ”passing hours and the world wags and we ripe and ripe and then rot and rot. And thereby hangs a tale.”
Jaques envies the Fool (is this Touchstone or Corin?) who has “his motley coat” when Jaques only has one suit. He bemoans that Fools can speak their mind on anything w/o censure.
Duke Sr chides Jaques reminding him of his earlier past lusty, sinful life at court.
Jaques give another long speech making various points. (I can’t understand this one).

(ENTER) ORL w/sword drawn, threatening Duke Sr and men for food. Duke suggests he’ll get more w/manners and offers him food and will discuss “better days” later after ORL goes to get and feed old Adam in the Duke’s camp.

Another famous and long speech by sad Jaques:
“All the World’s a Stage and all men and women merely players….”

Then he makes famous speech listing the Seven Stages of life with exits and entrances:
“One man in his time plays many parts.”
ORL returns to camp carrying old Adam. As they eat and rest, the Duke tells men to play music. Amiens sings “Life is Jolly Heigh, Hey Ho.” Duke notes ORL’s likeness to his father.

Act 3.1 COURT
Duke FRED and ORL’s brother OLVR talk. OLVR says he never loved his brother ORL. Then FRED throws OLVR out and seizes his lands and $.

Act 3.2 in FOREST rest of play
ORL obsessed with ROZ calls her “Queen of the Night.”
(Page 667) Corin and Touchstone the Clown enter. Verbal joist: COUNTRY VS COURT.
Corin: Country/forest/rural is beautiful. Pasture, rain, fire, can earn your food, make your clothes, owe no one/own your ewes, rams.
Touchstone loves court: Rural people are shallow; with worms-meat skin, sweaty, no manners.

(ENTER) ROZ (as Ganymede) sees ORL’s love poems to her on trees. Reads one: a long rhyme praising her beauty. She doesn’t know it’s about her or who wrote them.
(Page 667) Touchstone ridicules them and makes up a clever and funny rhyme.
Aliena (Celia) joins them, read a long corny poem she found on a tree comparing ROZ to Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Lucretia, Atalanta. The three kid each other. Touchstone says to retreat with: “bag and baggage.” Their wordplay contrasts poetic feet as “lame” and jokes that real feet “can’t bear the verses.”

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer

(Act 3.2 continued)

Celia reveals she saw ORL, dressed as a forestman, writing them under a tree. She & ROZ discuss LOVE at length. Jaques and ORL enter. The girls observe, pretend not to see them.
Jaques EXITS. Girls banter re: the two men, call one “Senior Love” and the other “Monsieur Melancholy.”
THEIR FIRST MTG IN FOREST: ROZ as Ganymede, hails ORL and asks the time: Is it “o’clock”? He says that in the forest, it’s called “Time of Day.” They begin Verbal Joist on TIME:
ORL: Time: trots hard (slow), ambles (easily), gallops (fast), still (stopped).
ROZ: “Times travels different paces for different people.”

He suggests her refined speech gives her away as a court-educated lady.
Changing the subject, she complains of a love-haunted man in the forest who leaves notes to Rosalind. She would cure him as she has learned from a (fake story) holy uncle. ORL admits he is the man.
ROZ says ORL can’t be the man as he’s too neat and well kept up to be so mad. He looks and acts like a man still in love w/himself. He pleads it’s him.
“Neither rhyme nor reason….”
She challenges him that she’ll cure him though she is a boy if he’ll treat her as his love Rosalind. She will be extremes: changeable, unpredictable, emotional, drive him to a monastery. This fantasy describes what she says is typical of unstable WOMEN in LOVE who must be avoided. ORL gives in. She says ORL must pretend to court her at her cottage. (EXIT)

Act 3.3
(ENTER) TOUCHSTONE as Clown w/Audrey, his betrothed goatherd. His verses and poetry about her are over her head. JAQUES observes him, comments cynically. Touchstone is cut to the bone at criticism. Though she is uncomely & ignorant, he uses exaggerated language.

Act 3.3
(ENTER) Sir Oliver Martext who says he will marry them. JAQUES ridicules him; announces he will counsel them and they need to be in church w/priest. Martext is insulted. (EXITS)

Act 3.4
(ENTER) ROZ & Celia: Ganymede and Aliena. Roz is taken with ORL’s good looks and can’t believe he truly loves her.. She now loves him too, but she wants to test him. She has met her own father DUKE Sr but he doesn’t recognize her as a boy. CORIN ENTERS. He’s seen how hopelessly in love Silvius is with disdainful Shepherdess Phoebe. He invites them to compare true love with distain/scorn.
Verbal Joist on LOVE.

Act 3.5
Page 671. Silvius adores Phoebe who has no interest in him. He says she’s killing him; w/her scornful glance; she says in long speech re: murderers hurt, kill and wound – she’s not a tyrant or murderer. It doesn’t faze him. ROZ as Ganymede enters; Phoebe falls for him/her: LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. ROZ ridicules her, making Phoebe more attracted. Long speech.

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer
Act 4.1
( ENTER) Sad Jaques relates why he loves sadness more than laughing in great speech p 673.
“neither the scholar’s melancholy…nor the musician’s…nor the courtier’s…nor the soldier’s…nor the lawyer’s…nor the lady’s…nor the lover’s…but…mine own….”

Roz accepts his sadness that he sold his lands to come to forest. She says she prefers a merry fool over sadness. EXIT Jaques.
ENTER ORL. He is late so Roz as Ganymede treats him badly as she said she would;. He calls her Rosalind as she demands. She asks Celia to marry them but she refuses. He uses the familiar words: “Forever and A Day.”
Her speech:
“Men are April when they woo; Dec when they wed. Maids are May when they maids but sky changes them when they are wives….”

He leaves to dine w/Duke Sr. She demands he come back later. (ORL EXIT) CELIA scolds ROZ for her nasty remarks about women. Roz is falling even more in love w/ORL.

Act 4.2
Sad Jaques and forest lords. Men sing a song and will take a killed deer to Duke Sr. (EXIT)

Act 4.3
After two hours at the Duke’s, ORL is expected to return to Roz (Ganymede). Instead, Silvius comes w/a sealed letter from his love Phoebe. ROZ reads: it proclaims Phoebe’s love of Ganymede. ROZ tells Silvius to go to Phoebe and say Ganymede expects her to love Silvius and demands he plead his case to Phoebe. She says to tell PHOEBE that Ganymede will never love her unless she lets Silvius woo her. He leaves.

(ENTER) ORL’s oldest brother OLVR who meets Celia and delivers a message from ORL. He shows ORL’s bloody napkin and says ORL’s been injured by lioness. ORL has saved OLVR from lion and a snake though his elder brother had come to the forest to hurt him. The brothers have now reconciled. OLVR then met Duke Sr. who fed and clothed him. Rosalind (as Ganymede) faints upon seeing the blood. He comments about her lack of a man’s heart and complexion. Also, OLVR has completely fallen for Aliena (Celia). This is the LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT condition that Celia distained when ROZ was first taken w/ORL. (EXITS)

Act 5.1
Audrey and Touchstone the Clown talk who will marry them. She was fine with whoever they had but his sense of propriety from court wants better. Shepherd William ENTERS. He loves her. TOUCHSTONE insults and threatens to kill him in flowery nonsense speech. Corin enters and requests Touchstone go to Ganymede and Aliena. All exit.

Act 5.2
OLVR discuss his sudden love for Celia who he thinks is Aliena, a poor shepherdess. He tells ORL he’ll return all the money, house and inheritance he took from him. ORL says he and Aliena (Celia) should marry tomorrow.

Clif Hostetler said...

Pam Bauer

(Act 5.2 continued)

ORL: “Is’t possible that one so little acquaintance you should like her? That but seeing, you should love her? And loving, woo? And wooing, she should grant? And will you persevere to enjoy her?”
ROZ enters and observes bandage on ORL’s arm. She hears that OLVR now loves Celia.

ROZ: “…For your brother and my sister, no sooner met but they look; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no soon knew the reason but they sought the remedy;...”

ORL tells ROZ that his brother will marry Aliena tomorrow. Ganymede (ROZ) announces that tomorrow when they marry, so too will ORL marry ROZ. Phoebe, Silvius enter and there follows a round robin of who loves whom.
Ganymede demands they stop this “Howling of Irish Wolves.” She says they all will be married tomorrow. To Phoebe she says if Ganymede be a woman she will marry Phoebe, but if not, Phoebe must marry Silvius.

Act 5.3
Touchstone and Audrey enter. The Pages come in and sing a sweet happy tune: “Hey nonny no, with a hey and a ho; ding a ding ding.” Touchstone is critical of the tunes.

Act 5.4
Duke Sr, et al now come in. The girls are still in disguise, so he doesn’t recognize his daughter Roz. Roz repeats all will be married this day, adding that Duke’s daughter will be there too. Both girls leave.

Jaques and Touchstone regard each other sarcastically about when to duel and when to back out (the Seventh Cause). Page 678.
They discuss these stages of a verbal duel:
Retort Courteous, Quip Modest, Reply Churlish, Reproof Valiant, Countercheck Quarrelsome, Lie Circumstantial and Lie Direct. Such duels are finally neutered when an “if” modifies the initial insults. This is the Seventh Cause.

(ENTER) Girls enter as themselves w/Hymen, the god of marriage. Duke Sr reunites with his daughter ROZ. Hymen then marries all four couples.

(ENTER): ORL’s other brother Jaques de Bois suddenly appears to give the 16-line “Shilling Speech.” His only appearance in the play is used to tie up all the loose ends of the plot. All is forgiven. Banished Duke Sr. will get land and riches back. Duke Jr has retreated to religious life. Sad Jaques says he will probably join him. All Exit stage but Rosalind who gives the Epilogue (unusual for women to give, she says). She ends with lovely speech to women and to men on their proper roles to each other.