Significance of Title of As You Like iT

All works of Shakespeare bear appropriate titles. The play As You Like It is also a play whose title is significant to the content and development of the play. 

The chief source of the play is Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde. Lodge, in his introduction to the play, writes that “if you like it, so: and yet I will yours in duty, if you be mine in favor.”

Shakespeare, a genius, borrowed the elements from the play and turned it into something immensely likable by his contemporary audience. He writes it in such a way and it feels like saying to the audience that the play is exactly “as you like it.

Being a fantastic romantic comedy, the play’s title is very suggestive. We all like something good and the play is almost ideal in this context. The play beings with an unjust brother Oliver and an unlawful Frederick who banished his brother the lawful Duke from the Dukedom.

But, very soon all the major characters find themselves in the Forest of Arden where everything is away from the evil of society. The love of Orlando and Rosalind becomes happy love.

Rosalind finds the complete freedom of her speech in the disguise of Ganymede. Even Celia finds her love. The bad characters of Frederick and Oliver become good when Frederick renounces everything and give it to Duke Senior and Oliver truly accepts his brother Orlando.

So, the play is a very cheerful play, full of light comedies. The title of the play suggests this nature of that it is exactly the way we like it.

Many critics have analyzed the title of the play as apologetic too. Shakespeare shows a tremendous capacity of insight into the seriousness of human emotions and his other plays, even romances like Romeo & Juliet show the tragic aspects of human life.

Here, the play’s title almost in an apologetic manner suggests that as an audience even if you have any objection then interpret it in any spirit you like because its writer has followed the free flow of his fancy.