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Character study of Rosalind from As You Like It.

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Introduction

Michael Gallagher AP English Literature Ms. Garforth August 31, 2004 Rosalind, throughout William Shakespeare's As You Like It, uses her ability to control language to attain her goals. Using creative speech, Rosalind enables herself to control and manipulate every situation that she is involved with, especially those concerning Orlando and Phoebe. Rosalind dominates many scenes in As You Like It and, ultimately, everything that Rosalind wants to occur does. She even changes her identity to do so. By using ingenious language, Rosalind facilitates the accomplishment of all of her objectives throughout the play. The first situation in which Rosalind displays her dominance in language is in the Forest of Ardenne, disguised as Ganymede, a male. She, knowing that Orlando is yearning for her love, comments on his obvious unrequited love, saying, "Then there is no true lover in the forest; else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy for of time as well as a clock." (111) By implying that Orlando's love is not true love, she immediately inspires Orlando to prove her wrong. ...read more.

Middle

By implying that Orlando may not even be in love at all, and promoting herself as an expert, she is enabling herself to "counsel" Orlando. She leads Orlando to want to prove he is in love with Rosalind. The major fact that she is interested in is observing how deeply Orlando is in love with her and how desperate he is to be with her. By leading Orlando on to believe that she is an expert when it comes to matters that concern true love, Rosalind allows herself to find out what Orlando is thinking about her from a third person, and unbiased, perspective. Rosalind also creatively uses language to manipulate situations that contain Phoebe, Silvius, and her own disguised character, Ganymede. Although Silvius deeply loves Phoebe, she continues to reject his brutally. However, Ganymede gets involved to defend Silvius, saying to Phoebe, "Who might be your mother, that you insult, exult and all at once over the wretched? What though you have no beauty-as, by my faith, I see no more in you than without candle may go dark to bed-must you be therefore proud and pitiless?" ...read more.

Conclusion

She realizes that Phoebe has an attraction towards her as Ganymede She uses this fact to persuade Phoebe to marry her, with one stipulation. If Phoebe for some reason decides that she does not want to marry Ganymede, Phoebe would then be obligated to marry Silvius. Ganymede obtains Phoebe's agreement on their marriage, stating, "If you do refuse to marry me, You'll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd [Silvius]." Ganymede goes on to state: [To Silvius] I will help you if I can. [To Phoebe] I would love you if I could-Tomorrow meet me all together. I will marry you if I ever marry a woman, and I'll be married tomorrow. [To Orlando] I will satify you and you shall be married tomorrow. Eventually, Ganymede reveals herself as Rosalind, and, accompanied by Hymen, prepares to marry Orlando. Aliena reveals herself to be Celia and weds Oliver. Phoebe, realzing that her lover, Ganymede, is really a female, then agrees to wed Silvius as a part of he pact with Rosalind. ...read more.

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