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Character Studies of Rosalind & Celia (As You Like It - Shakespeare).

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Character Studies of Rosalind & Celia Rosalind Rosalind's function in the plot of As You Like It is vital. Once circumstances have driven all the major characters to the Forest of Arden, Rosalind either causes or contributes to all the major conflicts. It is she who resolves them all in the end. She's a complex and deeply human character. In Act I, you are first struck by her wit as she and Celia joke about such subjects as love and luck. At the same time, Shakespeare reminds you that Rosalind is an outsider, even in the court where she has grown up. Her father, the rightful duke, has been exiled.


Thus, she avoids confusing the "idea of love" with love itself. She is also remarkably clever. She makes up the love cure on the spot and quickly invents an uncle and a magician to justify the stories she tells. And she's practical enough to be sure that she and Celia acquire a place to live as soon as they reach Arden. Rosalind is a good judge of character. She appreciates the skill of Touchstone, the court fool, and immediately sees through the pretensions of Jaques, Duke Senior's melancholy attendant. She has only to observe Silvius and Phebe for a few moments in order to size up their situation accurately.


Although she remains undeveloped, many readers find her a charming character. She and Rosalind share a deep, loving friendship, and her importance is a function of that relationship. First, she serves as a confidant, a person with whom Rosalind can talk openly about her feelings. While Rosalind hides her true emotions in her scenes with Orlando, she is absolutely honest with Celia. What raises Celia from dramatic device (someone serving merely to help the play along) to a character who is interesting in her own right is her wit. From their first appearance, Celia matches Rosalind in her ease with words. Since Celia doesn't fall in love until nearly the end of the play, she also retains her cool judgment. Thus, when Rosalind expresses her own romantic feelings, Celia is there to undercut them with pointed jests. Ben Ruddock 12A

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