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DUKE, living in banishment.
FREDERICK, his brother, and usurper of his dominions.

lords attending on the banished duke.
LE BEAU, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
CHARLES, wrestler to Frederick.
JAQUES, sons of Sir Rowland de Boys.

servants to Oliver.
TOUCHSTONE, a clown.
WILLIAM, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.
A person representing Hymen.
ROSALIND, daughter to the banished duke.
CELIA, daughter to Frederick.
Phebe, a shepherdess.
AUDREY, a country wench.

} shepherds.

Lords, pages, and attendants, etc.
SCENE: Oliver's house ; Duke Frederick's court; and the

Forest of Arden.

DURATION OF TIME The action of the play covers, according to Mr. Daniel's division, ten days, with intervals, thus :

Day 1. I. 1.

2. I. 2., 3. ; II. 1.
3. II. 2.
An interval of a few days : the journey to Arden.


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In II. 3. the time recedes to Day 2, and in III. 1. to Day 3. There is inconsistent time-reckoning (or 'double time')

(1) In the date of the Duke's banishment, which in I. 1. IOI sq. is quite recent, in I. 3. 69 sq. and II. 1. 2 sq. has lasted for

several years.

(2) (Perhaps) in Oliver's journey to Arden, which lies between III. 1. and IV. 3. A much longer interval is suggested by the description of him in IV. 3. 107 as 'a wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair.'


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As You Like It was first published in the Folio of 1623. A quarto edition contemplated in 1600 was staied' before publication, and the inaccuracy of the Folio text favours the view that the printers had nothing but MS. before them,-probably one derived from the stage copy. No plausible reason for this staying' has been suggested. Mr. Wright (Clarendon Press edition, preface) dwells upon the marks of hasty execution,—the discrepancy about Rosalind's height, the gratuitous ambiguity of the two Jaques, the artless dénoûment, and infers that Shakespeare sought to check the publication of his imperfect work. If he did so, he at least allowed it to remain imperfect.

The entry in the Stationers' Register is our one definite indication of the date. The play was probably written within the year preceding the entry (1599-1600); but the evidence is rather circumstantial than cogent. Meres does not mention it in his list (published autumn 1598). The famous allusion to Marlowe 2—Shakespeare's only pointed and direct

1 Stationers' Register, 4th from an authentic text, the other August. Three other plays- surreptitiously and in a highly Much Ado, Henry V., and Every

corrupt form. Man in His Humour -- were 2 • Dead shepherd, now I find


Ι stayed at the same time. The

thy saw of might; embargo on the first two was Whoever loved that loved shortly removed (23rd August),

not at first sight?' and both were published,

(iii. 5. 81.)


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