"A Pageant Truly Played" - Scene 3.5 of 'As You Like It' Put Into Context

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 28 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Cologne (English Seminar), course: Einfuhrungsseminar Literaturwissenschaft Teil B, language: English, abstract: There is much literature about Shakespeare today, exploring many facettes of "As you like it" and discovering many more all the time. This paper focuses on the main points I think relevant for the particular scene 3.5., put in the context of the play. [...] A pageant truly played between the pale complexion of true love And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain [...] (As you like it: 3.4.47-49) As such describes Corin the following scene 3.5., in which a madly in love Silvius hopelessly woos his beloved Phoebe, a "proud disdainful shepherdess," (3.4.45). The scene is a play within a play and Rosalind herself decides to "prove a busy actor" (3.4.55) in this play. The scene is central to As you like it and seems to incorporate many of the images and ideas generally portrayed throughout the play. To start off, the paper gives a broad overview of critical reception and performance history. Both of these points will be illustrated by focusing on a few examples of the main critical voices and performances. Next, we will specifically look at scene 3.5., critically analysing it under the heading of the following ideas. One of the main themes underlying this sequence is the use and mocking of literary pastoral, along with various representations of love and mimetic desire. Phoebe's sudden eruption of feeling for Rosalind/ Ganymede also leads to the necessary consideration of the heroine's disguise and its roots and effects on the different levels of acting. In a last step then, the paper brings this theoretical analysis to a more practical level and looks at ways in which the ideas worked out in chapter 4. could be visualised on stage."

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Page 4 - The Epilogue playfully invites this question. That it does so suggests something about the contradictory nature of the theater as a site of ideological production, an institution that can circulate recuperative fables of cross-dressing, reinscribing sexual difference and gender hierarchy, and at the same time can make visible on the level of theatrical practice the contamination of sexual kinds.
Page 3 - Silvius is the faithful abject lover who finds disdain in his fair shepherdess's eye and sighs "upon a midnight pillow"— Shakespeare always fixes on a detail in which a whole situation is epitomized. There are of course many other lovers in the play, but the story of Silvius and Phebe is of the pure pastoral world, the familiar literary norm against which all the others may be measured. First against Silvius and Phebe are set Rosalind and Orlando, and the immediate result of this is that Rosalind...
Page 3 - Rackin describes what happens as a "complicated layering on of disguise to render Rosalind's sexual identity thoroughly ambivalent,
Page 3 - Shakespeare's attitude towards pastoral as "amused [...] for he both uses and mocks the artificiality of the pastoral mode

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