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This novel, which Shakespeare adapted in his pastoral comedy As You Like It, is the archetypal pastoral adventure. Two young persons of high birth, who have recently lost their fathers (one to death, one to banishment), fall in love but are separated almost at once and forced to flee to the Forest of Arden. There they meet again, but as Rosalynde is disguised for safety as a boy, named Ganymede, her lover Rosader does not recognize her. Once Rosader has confided his love to Ganymede, they play a game in which the "boy" poses as Rosalynde to give Rosader practice in wooing. As the comic episodes, replete with dramatic irony, accumulate, minor characters with complementary romantic relationships fill in the spectrum of the sublime ludicrousness of sexual love until the shadow of death (which is not excluded from Arcadia!) brings matters to a happy conclusion. The various sets of lovers are appropriately joined, and once the corrupt seats of authority back home have been either purged or reformed, Rosalynde's banished father the Duke and the high-born lovers return to civilization, bringing with them a better understanding of what really matters in life.
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