Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: As You Like It

After being cast out of the court by her uncle, Duke Frederick, who had usurped the rule of her father Duke Senior, Rosalind flees to the forest of Arden, disguising herself as a young boy named Ganymede. Accompanied by the clown Touchstone and Frederick’s own daughter Celia (also in disguise), she persuades Orlando, who is in love with Rosalind, to practice his wooing with Ganymede so he can better win his love’s heart. Meanwhile, a beautiful but vain shepherdess named Phebe falls in love with Ganymede as well, and a series of romantic blunders ensue. At the end, all is put right, with Orlando and Rosalind marrying and Duke Senior restored to his rightful place.

The Wrestling Scene from As You Like It, by Daniel Maclise


By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge, patterns that will help you answer questions. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on William Shakespeare's "As You Like It."


ORLANDO A big, handsome, and not terribly bright wrestler, Orlando spends most of the play moping around the Forest of Arden longing for his beloved Rosalind. Although his brother Oliver is jealous of him and plots his murder early in the play, Orlando saves him from a lion and the two reconcile.


ROSALIND Well-known as one of Shakespeare’s strong female characters, Rosalind is willing to defy her uncle and easily fools Orlando into confessing his love for her by pretending to be the boy Ganymede. She is scornful of Phebe’s treatment of Silvius, the shepherd desperately in love with her.


TOUCHSTONE One of Shakespeare’s classic “fool” characters, Touchstone is often bawdy and frequently is seen with the “melancholy” JAQUES. He falls for the country lass AUDREY, and helps Rosalind and Celia disguise themselves to flee court.


THE FOREST OF ARDEN Many of Shakespeare’s plays use settings like the Forest to represent places where the normal rules of social order don’t apply. As a rural setting, it is without the underlying menace of court intrigue, and the romantic plotting that takes place there is never ill-natured or threatening. Fun fact: The actual forest of Arden is located near Stratford upon Avon, where Shakespeare lived.


“SEVEN STAGES OF MAN” SPEECH This speech is given by Jaques in Act II, Scene 7, and contains the phrase “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” The seven stages he refers to are infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, Pantalone, and old age.


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Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:


* You can read the complete “All the World’s a Stage” speech HERE...


* ...or you can read the full text of the play from the Folger Shakespeare Library.


* The Royal Shakespeare Company has a great website about the play.


* Watch a scene from Kenneth Branagh's 2006 film version of the play It was was set in 19th century Japan and starred Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind.

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