In the opinion of this English major, AS YOU LIKE IT is the weakest of Shakespeare’s works. It’s derivative of other Shakespearean plays, featuring recycled plot tropes and stock characters. According to tradition, the Bard had tried to offer up serious fare, his histories, his tragedies, some gravitas, some depth, but the theatre-goers wanted silliness, cross-dressing, puns. Thus Shakespeare gave them what they want, throwing up his hands and entitling the play AS YOU LIKE IT. In other words, he phoned it in. In my opinion, you can tell. Admittedly Shakespeare’s weakest work is still greater than anybody else’s masterpiece, but still.
Frequently I get emails from people asking me “How do I become a vampire?” Usually these are young people, and usually youngsters from other countries. Oftentimes their English, it isn’t so good, if you know what I mean. (Not that I’m making fun; I couldn’t communicate in any language other than English, not even the Black Speech of Mordor, nor would I try.) Consider this article, then, my stock answer to those kinds of queries. As you like it, friends. As you like it.
How, then, can you become a vampire? First, you have to live a disreputable life. Be a scoundrel. Then you have to die. According to world folklore, any person of ill reputation is in danger of becoming a vampire after death. (There’s no avoiding that death thing, though, I’m afraid. You can’t skip that step.) If, however, you led a fairly virtuous life, there’s still a chance you could become a vampire, if a cat jumps over your body. You’ll have to get somebody to help you with this one, though, as you can’t depend on any cat to do what you want it to do, and you for sure can’t count on it if you’re dead and are thus unable to make the cat do what you want. Or you can make sure somebody leaves your body reposing somewhere that the moon can shine on it. This works sometimes, according to legend. Alternately you can get a witch to put a curse on you. If the witch in question is comely and French, or is SUPPOSED to be French, and has big hazel eyes (like Angelique in DARK SHADOWS), all the better. Lastly, you can arrange to die as the direct result of vampire predation. Unfortunately this will only work if you are killed by an actual undead vampire. Living sanguivores won’t work, and the sanguivore in question, while he or she may only be trying to do you a solid, will likely still face criminal prosecution for murdering you. That’s why you gotta get yourself a REAL vampire, which is easier said than done. You’d probably have an easier time with the cat.
There. As you like it.