PCPA’s Rosalind and Celia: “As close as two women can get”
Items related to Rosalind and Celia in our queer relationships theme, LGBT collection. Get an answer for 'Discuss the relationship between Celia and Rosalind in As You Like It?' and find homework help for other As You Like It questions at eNotes. In As You Like It, Shakespeare created one of the great female friendships in theatre: Rosalind and Celia. There's no other relationship like it in.
Instead, it focuses on the freedom that springs from ignoring traditional gender roles and boundaries.
The two women have grown up closer than sisters even, and the obvious question is whether or not their relationship is something more than a mere friendship. Ganymede was a beautiful young man in ancient Greek mythology whom Zeus desired and so took to be his cup-bearer Knowles When one considers the actual mechanics of the play, it becomes even more intriguing: Orlando was suspiciously willing to accept Ganymede as a substitute for his Rosalind.
Was he attracted to Ganymede in a homosexual way, or did Ganymede simply remind him of Rosalind? Or did he maybe even recognize Rosalind behind her disguise? During a conversation between the two, many words of feminine import are exchanged. Is this feminine innuendo accidental, or does Orlando recognize that Ganymede is, in fact, Rosalind? And if he does not recognize her, why is he so willing to play lovers with Ganymede?
Performing Power Dynamics for Celia and Rosalind
However, Rosalind obviously could not hide her femininity very well, and thus makes for a very effeminate male. In the first of many decisions which implicitly subvert the patriarchal systems and social imperatives noted by Traub, Celia insists that Rosalind should not worry herself with questions of inheritance: You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have.
And truly when he dies thou shalt be his heir; for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection.
By mine honour I will, and when I break that oath, let me turn monster. It is reasonable to infer that the Duke believes that Rosalind is distracting male attention from his daughter, thus decreasing her chances of attaining a betrothal. In this sense, it is possible to view the relationship between the two women as a potential disruption to the established social order from the beginning of the play. It is clear that, to Celia, a life without Rosalind is not only unimaginable, but unlivable.
Shall we part, sweet girl? By choosing to go along with her cousin and live in Ardenne of her own volition, Celia—and by extension Rosalind—takes ownership of her circumstances and once again undercuts the authority of the Duke.
Interestingly, despite the fact that Rosalind will eventually assume the disguise of a man, it is the outwardly feminine Celia that is the more decisive of the two during their time at court.
While Celia was the more decisive of the two in the environment of the court, Rosalind-cum-Ganymede often takes charge while in Ardenne, particularly in her courtship of Orlando. Her masculine behavior further complicates the homoerotic nature of desire within the play: Why do you look on me?
This is certainly true for Rosalind, whose courtship with Orlando takes center stage throughout As You Like It, despite the numerous other relationships evolving within the action of the play.
He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover, as a puny tilter that spurs his horse but on one side breaks his staff, like a noble goose.
This concept could easily be applied to the forest of Ardenne, a world far removed from the social restrictions of the courts, in which characters are able to experience desire in non-heteronormative ways.
While Celia certainly challenges the social order through her abdication of her inheritance and family name, her most subversive action is the purchasing of a cottage within Ardenne, where she and Rosalind successfully establish an independent homestead.
Celia (As You Like It) - Wikipedia
From the time that they enter the forest, the jewels and wealth gathered by each woman before fleeing the court have been merged into a mutual fund that is used to procure their cottage, thus extending their inseparability from an emotional to a fiscal realm. Significantly, the women now not only own a cottage, but a flock and pasture as well as sponsor an employee; in essence they have purchased a lifestyle. This is important to note because not only do the two now own a home together, but they have obtained the means to produce goods and earn profits, which would enable them to continue their life in Ardenne indefinitely if they so desire.
As such, Rosalind herself becomes a threat to the liberty that Celia so enthusiastically sought within the forest. Though they both become married at the conclusion of As You Like It, neither woman needs to do so in order to gain economic stability. That but seeing, you should love her?
Rosalind and Celia
And wooing, she should grant? It seems significant that despite the fact that he fell in love with Rosalind nearly instantaneously, Orlando seems to distrust that the same could be true for Oliver and Celia.
Significantly, As You Like It ends in not one or two couplings, but four.