As You Like It | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "As You Like It Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 July 2017. Web. 18 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/As-You-Like-It/>.

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Course Hero. "As You Like It Study Guide." July 13, 2017. Accessed November 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/As-You-Like-It/.

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Course Hero, "As You Like It Study Guide," July 13, 2017, accessed November 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/As-You-Like-It/.

As You Like It | Act 1, Scene 3 | Summary

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Summary

Rosalind declares her love for Orlando to Celia, but they are interrupted by Duke Frederick. Without preamble, he banishes Rosalind from court upon pain of death. Rosalind begs to know how she has offended him and declares she has done him no wrong. His plain response is that "I trust thee not," pointing out that she is her father's daughter. Rosalind tries to reason with him, and Celia also intercedes. Duke Frederick calls his daughter a fool, saying that "she robs thee of thy name,/And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous/When she is gone." Celia then says she may as well be banished, too, for "I cannot live out of her company."

Duke Frederick exits, leaving Celia and Rosalind most grieved indeed. Without hesitation, Celia declares herself banished along with Rosalind, for "thou and I am one." She will not be parted from her cousin and sincerely declares, "Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee." Celia suggests they seek out Rosalind's father, Duke Senior, in the Forest of Arden. To undertake this dangerous journey, they decide that Rosalind will disguise herself as a man, while Celia will dress as a poor woman. Rosalind will take the name Ganymede, "Jove's own page," while Celia will go by Aliena. They also decide to take along the fool, Touchstone, as "a comfort to our travel." As they depart to gather their jewels and money in preparation for flight, Celia staunchly states that "now go we in content/To liberty, and not to banishment."

Analysis

Rosalind is truly an innocent victim of Duke Frederick's ill regard; she has done nothing to deserve being banished. Alas, that's how the cookie crumbles at the court; fortunes can rise and fall on a whim or a word, and a person's character, whether noble or vicious, matters less than who their friends and enemies are. Celia shows some gumption by trying to intercede with her father, but he is set in his judgment of Rosalind. From his viewpoint, the brighter Rosalind shines at court, the duller Celia appears, and he simply can't have that. Throwing Rosalind out because she is Duke Senior's daughter is simply an excuse he grabs onto to get rid of his daughter's competition. It's easy to imagine that if Rosalind were ugly and stupid, he wouldn't mind her sticking around to keep Celia company.

Celia demonstrates unwavering loyalty to Rosalind and is determined to accompany her into exile, come what may. She seems to look on their flight to Arden as a kind of light adventure. Perhaps the situation is less real to her because, at any time, she could always return to her father at court. The situation is far more dire for Rosalind, who has been threatened with death and cannot return. Celia is better able to keep her head about her in the moment of crisis, and it is she who suggests that they disguise themselves and find Duke Senior. She helps pull Rosalind out of her stunned state and into action, and further props up her spirits by declaring that their new life will be happy and free rather than feeling like a punishment.

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