Thursday, 26 March As You Like It Plot Overview Sir Rowland de Bois has recently died, and, according to the custom of primogeniture, the vast majority of his estate has passed into the possession of his eldest son, Oliver. Although Sir Rowland has instructed Oliver to take good care of his brother, Orlando, Oliver refuses to do so.
As You Like It As You Like It During the time that France was divided into provinces or dukedoms, as they were called there reigned in one of these provinces a usurper who had deposed and banished his elder brother, the lawful duke.
The duke who was thus driven from his dominions retired with a few faithful followers to the forest of Arden; and here the good duke lived with his loving friends, who had put themselves into a voluntary exile for his sake, while their land and revenues enriched the false usurper; and custom soon made the life of careless ease they led here more sweet to them than the pomp and uneasy splendor of a courtier's life.
Here they lived like the old Robin Hood of England, and to this forest many noble youths daily resorted from the court, and did fleet the time carelessly, as they did who lived in the golden age. In the summer they lay along under the fine shade of the large forest trees, marking the playful sports of the wild deer; and so fond were they of these poor dappled fools, who seemed to be the native inhabitants of the forest, that it grieved them to be forced to kill them to supply themselves with venison for their food.
When the cold winds of winter made the duke feel the change of his adverse fortune, he would endure it patiently, and say: I find that howsoever men speak against adversity, yet some sweet uses are to be extracted from it; like the jewel, precious for medicine, which is taken from the head of the venomous and despised toad.
The banished duke had an only daughter, named Rosalind, whom the usurper, Duke Frederick, when he banished her father, still retained in his court as a companion for his own daughter, Celia.
A strict friendship subsisted between these ladies, which the disagreement between their fathers did not in the least interrupt, Celia striving by every kindness in her power to make amends to Rosalind for the injustice of her own father in deposing the father of Rosalind; and whenever the thoughts of her father's banishment, and her own dependence on the false usurper, made Rosalind melancholy, Celia's whole care was to comfort and console her.
One day, when Celia was talking in her usual kind manner to Rosalind, saying, "I pray you, Rosalind, my sweet cousin, be merry," a messenger entered from the duke, to tell them that if they wished to see a wrestling-match, which was just going to begin, they must come instantly to the court before the palace; and Celia, thinking it would amuse Rosalind, agreed to go and see it.
In those times wrestling, which is only practised now by country clowns, was a favorite sport even in the courts of princes, and before fair ladies and princesses. To this wrestling-match, therefore, Celia and Rosalind went.
They found that it was likely to prove a very tragical sight; for a large and powerful man, who had been long practised in the art of wrestling and had slain many men in contests of this kind, was just going to wrestle with a very young man, who, from his extreme youth and inexperience in the art, the beholders all thought would certainly be killed.
When the duke saw Celia and Rosalind he said: You will take little delight in it, there is such odds in the men. In pity to this young man, I would wish to persuade him from wrestling.
Speak to him, ladies, and see if you can move him. He refused the request of Celia and Rosalind in such graceful and modest words that they felt still more concern for him; he concluded his refusal with saying: But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial, wherein if I be conquered there is one shamed that was never gracious; if I am killed, there is one dead that is willing to die.
I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; for I only fill up a place in the world which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. Celia wished the young stranger might not be hurt; but Rosalind felt most for him.
The friendless state which he said he was in, and that he wished to die, made Rosalind think that he was, like herself, unfortunate; and she pitied him so much, and so deep an interest she took in his danger while he was wrestling, that she might almost be said at that moment to have fallen in love with him.
The kindness shown this unknown youth by these fair and noble ladies gave him courage and strength, so that he performed wonders; and in the end completely conquered his antagonist, who was so much hurt that for a while he was unable to speak or move. The Duke Frederick was much pleased with the courage and skill shown by this young stranger; and desired to know his name and parentage, meaning to take him under his protection.
The stranger said his name was Orlando, and that he was the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys. Sir Rowland de Boys, the father of Orlando, had been dead some years; but when he was living he had been a true subject and dear friend of the banished duke; therefore, when Frederick heard Orlando was the son of his banished brother's friend, all his liking for this brave young man was changed into displeasure and he left the place in very ill humor.
Hating to bear the very name of any of his brother's friends, and yet still admiring the valor of the youth, he said, as he went out, that he wished Orlando had been the son of any other man.
Rosalind was delighted to hear that her new favorite was the son of her father's old friend; and she said to Celia, "My father loved Sir Rowland de Boys, and if I had known this young man was his son I would have added tears to my entreaties before he should have ventured.
I am out of suits with fortune, or I would give you a more valuable present. For then I ought to hate him, for my father hated his father; yet do not hate Orlando. You are a fool to plead for her, for you will seem more bright and virtuous when she is gone; therefore open not your lips in her favor, for the doom which I have passed upon her is irrevocable.
Before they set out Celia considered that it would be unsafe for two young ladies to travel in the rich clothes they then wore; she therefore proposed that they should disguise their rank by dressing themselves like country maids.
Rosalind said it would be a still greater protection if one of them was to be dressed like a man. And so it was quickly agreed on between them that, as Rosalind was the tallest, she should wear the dress of a young countryman, and Celia should be habited like a country lass, and that they should say they were brother and sister; and Rosalind said she would be called Ganymede, and Celia chose the name of Aliena.
In this disguise, and taking their money and jewels to defray their expenses, these fair princesses set out on their long travel; for the forest of Arden was a long way off, beyond the boundaries of the duke's dominions.
The lady Rosalind or Ganymede, as she must now be called with her manly garb seemed to have put on a manly courage.
The faithful friendship Celia had shown in accompanying Rosalind so many weary miles made the new brother, in recompense for this true love, exert a cheerful spirit, as if he were indeed Ganymede, the rustic and stout-hearted brother of the gentle village maiden, Aliena.The love between Rosalind and Orlando is a love at the very first sight and makes the two lovers powerless: Orlando wonders why he cannot express his feelings, and Rosalind is again melancholic when she tells Celia about her love to Orlando.
Noahwriting is the top writing website for both readers and writers. Publish your work, receive free editing services, and win the award valued up to $! Celia speaks to the curative powers of love in her introductory scene with Rosalind, in which she implores her cousin to allow ―the full weight‖ of her love to push aside Rosalind’s unhappy thoughts (benjaminpohle.com 6) As soon as Rosalind takes to Ardenne, she displays her own copious knowledge of the ways of love.
A good example of this is the relationship shown between Rosalind and Celia. Rosalind is called a traitor by Duke Frederick (Greenblatt, ed., p) and Celia is very quick to respond to try and help her.4/5(8). Portraits of Human Virtue: A Look at the Characters in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
From Shakespeare's As You Like benjaminpohle.com Henry Norman Hudson.
Boston: Ginn & Co. As You Like It is exceedingly rich and varied in character. The several persons stand out round and clear in themselves, yet their distinctive traits in a remarkable degree sink quietly into the feelings without reporting .
Celia’s attempts to dissuade Rosalind from love, almost seducing her cousin by making note that Orlando’s hair of “dissembling colour” cannot compare to the “chestnut [hair]” Celia describes as being “ever the only colour” of desire (Act III, scene iv, line 9).