I had a great time with friends the other day watching a performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
Tons of fun. But not my favorite. Shakespeare introduces the antagonist in Act 1, gives the antagonist two more small scenes (in Acts 2 and 3), and then ignores him. After the beginning of Act 3, we never hear about the antagonist until the end. In the final scene, when everyone is going to get married, we learn the antagonist had a massive change of heart off stage.
As a person who loves the antagonists in stories, this was disappointing.
But there’s a lot to enjoy in As You Like It as well. Four relationships are developed in ludicrous ways. Each pair is married at the end. A couple of the marriages we know are doomed. One was love at first sight just a couple days prior. And one is the result of an awkward Shakespearian reverse catfish. This was the relationship we’re meant to root for. Just felt a little awkward.
If you’ve never seen it but you have Amazon Prime you can watch Kenneth Branagh’s version. He set his in feudal Japan. Not sure it adds anything, but it’s a faithful adaptation.