As You Like It

The Effective Roles of Prose and Verse in Shakespeare's As You Like It College

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is made up of two distinct forms of dialogue: prose and verse. Shakespeare’s verse is rhythmic and poetic, while his prose is simple and does not have a distinct beat. Although Shakespeare’s choice of prose or verse may seem arbitrary, there are actually distinct motivations behind Shakespeare’s choice of mode. In As You Like It, one of the ways Shakespeare utilizes prose is to signify romantic connection between Rosalind and Orlando. Additionally, Shakespeare’s use of verse is significant in its role of characterizing Orlando and Oliver as virtuous. Throughout this play, Shakespeare deploys two distinct modes of dialogue for specific purposes of characterization.

Shakespeare uses prose establish the romantic chemistry and connection between Orlando and Rosalind, while Rosalind is disguised as the man Ganymede. As Rosalind disguises herself as Ganymede to toy with and get closer to Orlando, she speaks almost exclusively in prose. When Ganymede first meets Orlando and asks him the time, he responds, in prose, “You should ask me what time o’day. There’s no clock in the forest,” to which Rosalind responds “Then there is no true lover in the forest, else sighing every minute and groaning every hour...

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