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As You Like It Characters

Rosalind is the Old Duke’s daughter. When Duke Frederick took power, he did not exile her, and she and her cousin Celia soon became inseparable friends. 

She cannot forget the fact of her father’s exile, however, and this sometimes leaves her depressed. Long-tongued and witty, she is a great dissector of love, but is not immune to it: she becomes instantly enamored of the young wrestler who challenges Charles. Banished by Duke Frederick, she flees with Celia to the Forest of Arden, dressed as a boy named Ganymede to ward off unwanted attentions. The news that Orlando is in love with her and in the forest sets her all a-flutter. She takes advantage of her anonymity and male dress to learn to know him better and to cure him of his habit of writing bad poetry. With her plan of teaching him to woo her while she is still in disguise, she is able to have a courtship without all of the attendant dangers. She also plays with others’ love affairs, particularly when she intervenes between Phoebe and Silvius to berate the former for being too harsh. It unfortunately turns out that Phoebe prefers a domineering and tactless man to a poetic one, and she falls quite in love with Ganymede. Rosalind insists that love is not nearly as serious as everyone makes it out to be, and despite her giddy descriptions to Celia of just how much she is herself in love it is not until she faints at seeing the bloody evidence of Orlando’s injury that thinks start to look truly serious. When Orlando decides that he has had enough of play-acting, Rosalind brings it all to an end by staging her reappearance as herself. Precisely how she convinces the god of marriage to attend is not recorded. She is unusually tall for a woman.


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