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Rock Street, San Francisco

Write and explain the THEME(s) of the work:
The chief theme of the work is love. The play examines the sighing lover and points out the folly of this archetype. While praising true love and marriage, the play also calls attention to marriages without total devotion. There are multiple references to unfaithful wives and Touchstone’s “love” of Audrey leaves something to be desired.
Another important theme in the play is gender. The most obvious example is Rosalind’s crossdressing, which allows her to take on manly behaviors without notice. Her guise allows her to take charge of her relationship with Orlando and assert herself in ways that were not possible for a woman at the time. Orlando also takes on aspects of the feminine through his flowery poetry. The original cast of As You Like It would have consisted entirely of men. This adds another layer of gender subversion.

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