Shakespeare’s As You Like It moves from the oppressive court to the Forest of Arden. This green world offers rural rehab, where characters gain new insights into themselves and their situation. Bobby’s animation interprets the exiled Duke’s hymn to a simpler, rustic life. This Arden is Edenic, egalitarian, and ultimately creative, with ‘tongues in trees, books in the running brooks/ Sermons in stones and good in everything’.
Turning nature into art – in ancient Arcadia, in Shakespeare’s busy London or our own hectic lives – is regenerative: in Arden, conversations expand and songs are sung, lovers meet, families reconcile, and the Duke prepares for his return to court.