Sunday, 1 June 2014

Shakespeare's As You Like It in a Nutshell

The plots of Shakespeare's plays are almost always multilayered - with some being more complex than others. But is it possible to simplify them? What if Shakespeare were alive and working as a screenwriter? He'd need loglines (one or two sentence summaries), of his works.

So, here's my effort at reducing one of his plays to its simplest parts - As You Like It in a nutshell.

A young woman dresses as a man and flees her uncle's court. Accompanied by her cousin and a fool, she goes in search of her father in the forest of Arden, but finds much more there than she bargained for. 

Now, there's obviously a lot more going on in the play than that, but these are the most basic elements. And, just as All's Well That Ends Well in a nutshell sounded like a modern romcom, the gist of As You Like It seems equally contemporary.

And this, for my money, is one of the reasons Shakespeare has had such immense staying power. His plays (and I'd argue this is even true of the histories), are not chained to one particular place and time. They continue to resonate, and continue to entertain.

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