• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"As you like it". What does Rosalinds disguise suggest about the fluidity or fixity of gender in the play?

Extracts from this document...


Q. What does Rosalind?s disguise suggest about the fluidity or fixity of gender in the play? Ans. Rosalind?s disguise as Ganymede, a shepherd?s boy, is liberating; it allows her a special kind of freedom. Her disguise was required only so that she could reach the safety of the forest, however, she chose to keep the disguise and even befriends Orlando, who thinks ?Ganymede?, is actually a teenage boy. Gender, in As You Like It, is culpable to change. Its fluidity is a result of the effect of one?s surroundings on their character and personality. After Duke Frederick banishes his niece, Rosalind, for the crime of being her father?s daughter, Rosalind and Celia decide to exile themselves to the Forest of Arden. ...read more.


we pass along, and never stir assailants.? However, even after the safe passage of Rosalind and Celia into the Forest of Arden, it is seen that Rosalind still maintains her disguise as Ganymede. She internalizes the qualities of the teenage boy by behaving, acting, and conversing like a male after experiencing the freedom she was allowed by her disguise. ?I could find in my heart to disgrace my man?s apparel and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat.? As Ganymede, Rosalind is able to tutor Orlando about love and comment freely on his actions; this may have been impossible in a conventional love affair. ...read more.


Rosalind?s choice in choosing Ganymede as her disguise is also significant as Ganymede is the cupbearer and beloved of Jove; the name carries strong homosexual connotations. Despite Orlando?s love for Rosalind, he seems to be willing to act out his romance with Ganymede. Phoebe too is more attracted to the feminine Ganymede than to Silvius. This contributes to the theme of homoeroticism present in the play. Rosalind?s disguise opens up a continuum of sexual possibilities; this highlights the fluidity of gender in the play. Rosalind chooses to keep her disguise and internalize the qualities of the opposite gender while in the Forest of Arden; she then reverts back to her own gender once they return to the city. This shows that gender in As you like it is highly influenced by society and one?s surroundings. It suggests that gender is not at all fixed in the play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level As You Like It section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level As You Like It essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss how successfully the dramatic device of disguise is used in ‘As You Like ...

    3 star(s)

    Celia decides to disguise herself as a shepherdess, called Aliena, meaning 'the stranger.' This name is also appropriate, as it is representative of the way she will act in the country compared to at court; she will not be used to it.

  2. In What Ways is 'As You Like It' a Typical Shakespearean Comedy?

    upon to respond to any situation in a unique and characteristic way, much like a clown but only more sober. He is, in his own way, as equally an incongruous figure as Touchstone in a pastoral. The pair are complementary.

  1. As You Like It: The presentation of the theme's of love

    Audrey is better suited to fellow countryman, William, who like her, has a simple honest look on life and who truly loves her, in contrary to Touchstone's lesser 'infatuation' for her. This may be the most usual display of love as a man tries to seduce a passive and somewhat 'weak' woman.

  2. Character study of Rosalind from As You Like It.

    assuring Orlando that Rosalind would marry him the next day, Ganymede then proceeds with the second part of her plan.

  1. English Shakespeare

    This turn of events is due to the remarkable change of mind from Duke Frederick who persuaded by an old religious man on the outskirts of the forest to not invade the Forest of Ardenne decides to conclude his search for his brother.

  2. Genre Defense of Shakespeare's As You Like It

    A song sung at the wedding feast declares Hymen's dominion over towns: "Tis Hymen peoples every town / High wedlock then be honored. / Honor, high honor and renown / To Hymen, god of every town!" (Shakespeare, V. iv. 142-145).

  1. Rosalind goes too far in using the power of disguise to be an admirable ...

    how Rosalind was portrayed; she adopted the manly character of Ganymede and used it for their survival. I personally found this admirable, because in this situation many other characters would have given up on their journey before reaching the Forest of Arden.

  2. Is Rosalind the perfect heroine?

    ability to subvert the limitations that the society imposes on her as a woman. With boldness and imagination she disguises herself as a young man for most of the play in order to woo the man she loves and instructs him in how to be a more accomplished and attentive

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work