Annie and I watched Branagh's 2006 version of Shakespeare's As You Like It last night and it was delightful! I recommend it to all who are fans of Branagh's work... a few choice sections from the master of English prose:
I must have liberty Withal, as large a charter as the wind, To blow on whom I please.
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court? Here feel we not the penalty of Adam, The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind, Which when it bites and blows upon my body Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say ’This is no flattery. These are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am.’ Sweet are the uses of adversity Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
All the world's a stage,/And all the men and women merely players./They have their exits and their entrances/And each man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, ‘tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you; and I’ll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you. And I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women—as I perceive by your simpering none of you hates them— that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not. And I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths will for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.