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Rosalind goes too far in using the power of disguise to be an admirable heroine. - Explain how Rosalind was presented in the play. - Comment on how far you find her to be a satisfactory character.

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Introduction

"Rosalind goes too far in using the power of disguise to be an admirable heroine." - Explain how Rosalind was presented in the play. - Comment on how far you find her to be a satisfactory character. Rosalind is introduced into 'As You Like It' whilst she is in the throes of mourning for her banished father, and seeks solace in her best friend Celia. This immediate, emotive introduction into the play means the audience empathises with her character. This is an obvious starting point for Rosalind to go on to become a liked character, even a heroine. The audience is familiarised with Rosalind over the next few scenes, in which she meets and falls for Orlando. She is portrayed as an emotional yet strong character, with romantic tendencies and lively qualities. However, when Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind after being reminded of his malice for her family when he discovers Orlando's father was Sir Roland De Boys, her true character emerges as she sets off bravely into the forest accompanied by Celia. She decides that they should dress in disguises for their own safety, and Rosalind adopts the persona of a male named Ganymede. ...read more.

Middle

When Rosalind meets Orlando in the forest, she is still dressed as Ganymede. She realises that Orlando was responsible for her name being carved into tree trunks, and then under her disguise she converses with him and strikes up a friendship in which she counsels him on his love for Rosalind. At first, this is amusing for the audience as it is an example of dramatic irony, and she is admirably bold and spirited. However, as the play progresses, Rosalind continues to maintain her Ganymede persona, even when it is clear that there would be no danger if she revealed she was a woman. This was of course the reason for dressing as a man - because two women in the forest alone could be perilous. Yet, once this danger has passed, she continues to act as Ganymede so that she can get closer to Orlando without him realising. When Rosalind as Ganymede and Orlando take part in a mock wedding, Celia cannot help but express her annoyance at continuing this pretence: "Ros: Come sister, you shall be the priest and marry us. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the final scene of 'As You Like It' (Act V Scene III), Rosalind finally reveals her true identity to everyone in the Forest of Arden. However before she does this, she cunningly arranges it so that everyone who is in love is married - she says to Phebe that if Ganymede is proven not to be what he appears, then she must marry Corin. Of course, Rosalind reveals herself as a woman, and therefore Corin is happy because he can marry Phebe. This is admirable, because Rosalind not only thinks of her own marriage, but of others' happiness as well. In conclusion, I think overall Rosalind is a courageous and admirable character - however I do believe that she gains a lot of her courage from the fact she is disguised and so can adopt an entirely new persona without having to face any of the consequences. Yet this does not undermine the fact that she did admirable deeds, because technically Ganymede was just an extension of her own character, and in my opinion her use of disguise does not stop her from being an admirable heroine. Nikki Burton L6KM *1* ...read more.

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