56 pages 1 hour read

William Shakespeare

As You Like It

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1599

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Character Analysis

Rosalind

Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior and the heroine of the play, is independent, intelligent, and determined. She displays more agency than the typical Shakespearean female character, using her intelligence to construct complicated schemes and achieve her desires. Rosalind’s will is at times overpowering, as she freely involves others in her plans. For example, when disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind easily manipulates Orlando to get what she wants—his hand in marriage—which just so happens to be his own desire. At the same time, she quickly rejects Phoebe, constructing a complementary plan to match Phoebe with someone else.

Love of various kinds is Rosalind’s greatest motivation. She falls quickly and head-over-heels in love with Orlando, and her desire for him motivates much of her action. At the same time, her love for Celia remains strong throughout the play, as the two almost never leave each other’s side. Desire is also the reason behind Rosalind’s choice of disguise. She decides to playact as Ganymede, the beautiful mythological consort of Jupiter, because she must always be the most beautiful and most charming, even as a man.

Rosalind’s wit is strong as well. Through her disguise and scheming, she relishes in her ability to make cryptic comments about her gender and identity.

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