Here is a short plot summary of As You Like It:

Orlando, the youngest son of Sir Roland de Boys, is ill treated by his brother Oliver. When he responds to the general challenge issued by the Duke’s wrestler, Charles, Oliver tells Charles to injure Orlando if he can manage it. The Duke’s daughter, Celia, and her cousin, Rosalind, watch the match and Rosalind falls in love with Orlando. Orlando wins but the Duke gets angry when he discovers that Orlando is the son of his old enemy, Sir Roland de Boys. Rosalind gives Orlando a chain to wear and he falls in love with her.

The Duke unexpectedly banishes Rosalind and she decides to find her father, the real Duke, who has been overthrown by his brother, Celia’s father, Frederick. Duke Senior lives in the forest of Arden. Together with the court jester, Touchstone, the girls set out, disguised as a country boy, Ganymede, and his sister, Aliena. Co-incidentally, Orlando, fearing for his life, has also left home, accompanied by his father’s servant, Adam.

In the forest, the group from the court encounter a young shepherd, Silvius, and watch him being rejected by a shepherdess, Phoebe, as he declares his love for her. They meet an old shepherd, Corin, who is looking for someone to take over the sheep farm. Ganymede, who wants to settle in the forest, buys the lease.

Duke Senior, unaware that his daughter is looking for him, is living a simple life with some courtiers and huntsmen. One of them is the melancholy Jaques, who reflects constantly on life. Orlando and Adam arrive and the outlaws welcome them and feed them.

Orlando hangs some love poems that he has written to Rosalind from the branches of trees. Rosalind and Aliena find them. Ganymede helps him to cure his lovesickness by wooing him, Ganymede, as though he/she were Rosalind. A country girl, Audrey, falls in love with Touchstone and abandons her faithful William because of her love for the fool.

Oliver is searching for his brother. He has an accident and Orlando saves his life. Orlando is slightly injured and when he tells Ganymede about it she faints. Oliver and Celia fall in love. Phoebe falls in love with Genymede. It all becomes very complicated. Hymen leads a masque; Rosalind re-emerges as a woman and her father gives her to Orlando; Phoebe accepts Silvius; Orlando’s older brother returns from university with the news that Celia’s father, Frederick, has retired as Duke to become a hermit; Jaques goes to join him. There is a joyful dance to celebrate the four marriages and the happy ending.

See summaries of Shakespeare’s other plays >>

20 replies
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  1. HONEY
    HONEY says:

    this is one of the most wonderfull and heart touching story that i have studied in my life.I am very very thankful to shakespeare for making such a great story

    Reply
  2. Biswasmit Lenka
    Biswasmit Lenka says:

    i likes it very well because shakespeare has made us to know about his writings and made the readers to be in a cut 24 situation.And he had made the plot in such away that it is syncronised.In this story orlando has kept a main part and at last he suceeded in his love and his brother liked him.here the immagenative forest named forest of arden has also played amain part so at last it is boon to us and we are so much lucky to read the verses of shakes peare and could learn something.

    “AS YOU LIKE IT”should be rewriten and to be continued…………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Reply
  3. Maria Cristina
    Maria Cristina says:

    In paragraph four the word melancholy should be melancholic, since it’s an adjective (“melancholic Jaques”)
    The summaries are easy to understand. They’re a great help to people like me who need to go over a lot of info within a short time.

    Reply
  4. Mona
    Mona says:

    As You Like It is a good comedy I love it the idea & concept of 4 marriages taking place in the end .Summery is concise & precise.

    Reply
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