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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

Celia (Aliena) Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2: Celia tries to comfort Rosalind, who is bummed out about her banished father.
  • 1.2: Celia chides Rosalind for still being grumpy about her banished-father situation. Celia says she must love Rosalind more than Rosalind loves her, as Celia wouldn't be grumpy if their roles were reversed. If Celia had been left behind when her father was banished, Celia would be sure to take her uncle (Duke Senior) as her own father, so long as it meant getting to stay with Rosalind.
  • 1.2: Celia points out that she's her father's only child and, when her father dies, Rosalind will be his heir, because, whatever he takes from Rosalind, Celia will make up in her affections toward her cousin. She swears on her honor that she'll make it all up to Rosalind, and again asks Rosalind to be merry.
  • 1.2: As the two try to distract themselves, Rosalind asks Celia what she thinks of falling in love. Celia replies that she hopes Rosalind gives it a shot, as watching her run around at the mercy of love would be good, sporting fun. Still, she warns that Rosalind shouldn't seriously love anyone, or have so much fun with them that she can't wear the youthful blush of her chastity.
  • 1.2: Celia suggests she and Rosalind should make fun of Fortune, whom she describes as a housewife spinning at her wheel. Celia notes that Fortune doesn't bestow her gifts equally on everyone.
  • 1.2: Celia responds to Rosalind's comment that Fortune really messes up when it comes to women. Celia notes that those women who are pretty are rarely honest (also meaning chaste), while those who are chaste and honest are rarely pretty.
  • 1.2: Rosalind argues that, when discussing women's traits, Celia's actually talking about Nature's doing, not Fortune's. Celia counters that Fortune and Nature work independently, as a good-looking lady can fall into a fire—then, though she was pretty by Nature, she's made ugly by Fortune. Celia thinks Nature gives us the wit we need to rise above our fortunes. As Touchstone the fool enters the scene, Celia says his presence is the work of Fortune.
  • 1.2: Rosalind claims Touchstone's entrance is an example of Fortune cutting off the wit granted to them by Nature. Celia says Touchstone's entrance is actually the work of Nature; the goddess must've been listening to their conversation, found that their wits were too dull to reasonably converse about the goddesses, and sent in Touchstone to sharpen their wits (as Touchstone = whetstone = a sharpening tool for dull blades).
  • 1.2: Celia jovially teases Touchstone as he tells his silly story about the knight with no honor. Celia says she swears by her beard that Touchstone is a knave, though she has no beard. (So who is this joke really on, anyway?)
  • 1.2: Further into this knight story, Celia asks who the knight is. Touchstone replies he's one whom her father, Duke Frederick, loves. Celia thinks this is enough to consider the knight honorable, even if he has no honor. Celia warmly tells Touchstone to bugger off, as he'll be whipped for slander one of these days.
  • 1.2: Celia jokes some more, as Touchstone laments that fools cannot comment on the actions of wise men. She says when fools are silenced, the little foolishness that wise men have seems like big foolishness (as there's no longer a frame of reference). Celia then notes Monsieur Le Beau is on his way.
  • 1.2: Celia looks not-so-eagerly forward to Monsieur Le Beau's news, claiming he'll deliver it like a pigeon feeds their young. (Pigeons feed their young by vomiting already-chewed food into the birds' mouths.)
  • 1.2: Celia hears from Le Beau that she and Rosalind have missed out on sport, and she's all excited to hear what that sport is. As Le Beau tries to tell them about the wrestling and rib-breaking, Celia's full of jokes and mockery.
  • 1.2: Celia agrees with Touchstone:  It's the first time she's ever heard that rib-breaking was a sport for ladies. Still, she's eager to stay and watch the wrestling, which happens to be starting now, where they are standing.
  • 1.2: Celia notes that the challenger, Orlando, looks too young to be wrestling, though he does look like a winner. (Hooray for double-meaning!) Celia tells Le Beau to call the young man over, so she and Rosalind can give him a good talking-to.
  • 1.2: Celia entreats Orlando to give up this silly notion of fighting court-champion Charles, as Charles is so much stronger. She says if Orlando could really see Charles's strength, or know his own weakness better, then his fear would lead him to fight a more equal guy, one with less broken ribs in his wake. Celia says she and Rosalind both wish Orlando would quit trying to fight Charles—for his own safety.
  • 1.2: Still, as Rosalind promises her strength will go with Orlando, Celia promises the same. She wishes Orlando well, saying she hopes he gets his heart's desires. As Orlando readies to fight, Celia says that, if she were invisible, she'd take Charles down by the leg.
  • 1.2: The wrestling has begun, and Celia says that, if she had the supernatural power to strike someone down, she knows who it would be (presumably Charles). Just then, Orlando throws down Charles (like magic!).
  • 1.2: Everyone watches as Duke Frederick (Celia's father) refuses to praise Orlando once he finds out Orlando is the son of his dead enemy, Sir Rowland de Boys. Celia is taken aback by her father's poor behavior, and tells Rosalind that, if she were her father, she wouldn't act that way.
  • 1.2: After the match, Celia encourages Rosalind to join her in thanking Orlando for the good sport and encouraging him. Given her father's harshness toward the young man, Celia feels particularly obligated to be nice. Speaking to Orlando, Celia praises him as very deserving of his win. She says if Orlando keeps his promises in love as well as he kept his promise in the fight, then his wife will be happy indeed.
  • 1.2: Though Celia has already said her goodbyes to the gentlemen, Orlando seems to call Rosalind back. Celia asks her if she will go to Orlando.
  • 1.3: Back at Duke Frederick's palace, Celia finds Rosalind a wreck. She asks what's going on and whether Rosalind will talk about it with her.
  • 1.3: Rosalind says she doesn't have a word to throw at a dog. Celia tells her that Rosalind's words are too good for dogs, but not too good for Celia. She begs to be burdened with whatever it is that's upsetting Rosalind so. Celia wonders whether all of Rosalind's laments are for her banished father.
  • 1.3: Rosalind then says it's not her father, but her future child's father (Orlando). Celia realizes Rosalind's been infected with a major case of lovesickness. She says Rosalind's fancies are like burs (those sticky little seeds that get stuck in your clothes in the woods), and those burs can be avoided if we just stick to the path instead of wandering off into the woods (the woods being our fancies concerning love).
  • 1.3: Celia says if these burs are in Rosalind's heart, as Rosalind claims, then she should cough them up.
  • 1.3: Celia continues to pun about things like phlegm with Rosalind. But eventually, she gets down to earnest business. Celia wonders if it's possible that Rosalind could really fall in love so suddenly.
  • 1.3: Celia hears Rosalind's logic that because her father and Orlando's father were good friends, Rosalind and Orlando are meant to love each other. Celia is dismissive, and points out that, by Rosalind's logic, because Celia's father hated Orlando's father, Celia should hate Orlando. The logic must be faulty, because Celia doesn't hate Orlando at all.
  • 1.3: Rosalind pleads with Celia, begging her not to hate Orlando. Celia teases back, asking if perhaps Orlando doesn't deserve to be hated after all.
  • 1.3: Celia notes her father's eyes are full of anger as he enters the scene between herself and Rosalind.
  • 1.3: After hearing Rosalind and her father go back and forth about banishing Rosalind, Celia steps up and asks him to listen to her.
  • 1.3: Duke Frederick tells Celia that it was only for her sake that Rosalind wasn't initially banished along with Duke Senior (Rosalind's father). Celia speaks bravely back; she says it wasn't her pleading, but her father's own pleasure and remorse that kept the young Rosalind from banishment. Celia says that, when the banishment occurred, she was too young to really value Rosalind, but since that time, the two have become inseparable. Celia claims that, if Rosalind is a traitor, then so is she. After all, she says, she and Rosalind have done everything together: slept, learned, played. In all ways, Celia says, she and Rosalind come as a pair.
  • 1.3: Celia ignores her father's statement that the people will look more fondly on her once Rosalind is gone. Instead, Celia says that, if her father banishes Rosalind, he also banishes her, as she cannot live without Rosalind's company.
  • 1.3: As Duke Frederick exits, Celia is quick to comfort Rosalind. Celia asks where Rosalind will go, and tells her that she is not to be any more grieved by Duke Frederick's rashness than Celia is herself.
  • 1.3: Celia points out that Rosalind has no more reason to be upset than she (Celia) does. Celia comforts her cousin, saying she won't be alone—after all, Duke Frederick banished both of them by his decision.
  • 1.3: Celia wasn't kidding about not being separated from Rosalind. Though the Duke didn't explicitly banish her, Celia says Rosalind should know that they are as good as one. From now on, Rosalind won't bear her grief alone. Duke Frederick might as well find another heir, as there's no way Rosalind's leaving without her cousin. Now it's just up to the girls to plan their escape.
  • 1.3: Though Rosalind is at a loss for where they could go, Celia recommends that they head to the Forest of Arden to find Duke Senior (her uncle and Rosalind's father).
  • 1.3: Rosalind worries that they'll be the target of thieves, being two pretty, young girls going to the forest alone. Celia says that she'll dress up in rags and dirty her face. If Rosalind does the same, Celia thinks they'll get to the forest without being bothered by anybody. Rosalind suggests that she, who is the taller of the two, should dress like a boy, while Celia dresses like a girl.
  • 1.3: Celia's first reaction to Rosalind's unorthodox cross-dressing idea is essentially, "So what should I call you when you're a man?" She's totally down with the plan.
  • 1.3: Celia chooses her own name, "Aliena," which means "the estranged one" in Latin. She says this name refers to her status (presumably as an estranged person).
  • 1.3: Celia says she'll get Touchstone to come along, no problem. For the rest of the plan, she thinks they should get their jewels and money together. They should also take pains to conceal themselves from the people who will be surely be sent looking for them once Duke Frederick learns that his daughter has fled. Most importantly, Celia declares that their flight is actually not a punishment, but a journey to liberty.
  • 2.4: Now in the forest, Celia asks Touchstone and Rosalind to bear with her. She's too tired to keep going on this demanding forest trek right now.
  • 2.4: Celia says she's rather close to passing out from hunger. She asks Rosalind or Touchstone to go talk to the man they've found in the wood, who she hopes can give them food in exchange for gold.
  • 3.2: Celia comes upon Rosalind reading a verse she found hung in a tree, which details how Rosalind manages to encompass all the best traits of all the greatest women of all time. The words rightfully belong to Orlando, but here's where the miracle of stage direction comes in. Because this is a play, Celia's character can appear skeptical, or mocking, or just plain amused as she reads this rather lovesick verse.
  • 3.2: Celia has ushered the men away so she can talk to Rosalind privately. She asks if Rosalind has read the poems, and teases about how clumsy they are. Celia wonders if Rosalind could have heard the verses without asking how her name came to be hung on so many trees. Celia presses Rosalind about whether she really has no idea who wrote all these smitten poems.
  • 3.2: Celia reminds Rosalind that the poet is actually the same man Rosalind gave her necklace to at the wrestling match.
  • 3.2: Rosalind still doesn't quite get it, and Celia is jovially exasperated, wondering how Rosalind could possibly have not guessed that Orlando is 1) in the forest and 2) still hot for her.
  • 3.2: Celia is naughty here; as Rosalind asks her to take the cork out of her mouth that's clearly stopping her from spilling the poet's identity, Celia counters that Rosalind would drink up Celia's words like she'd let a man into her belly.
  • 3.2: Celia, knowing Rosalind's about to explode from curiosity, drags on the Q&A. She says the poet has only a little bit of a beard (meaning he's young) before she finally lets out that the author is none other than Orlando, the very guy who defeated Charles and conquered Rosalind's heart in world-record time.
  • 3.2: When Rosalind finally gets it, she nearly falls over herself with excitement and rattles off ten-thousand questions about Orlando, which she asks Celia to answer all in one word. Celia laughingly says she'd need to have the largest mouth in the world to do such a thing, and that Rosalind is asking as much as a catechism.
  • 3.2: Rosalind wants more and more details about Orlando, and Celia says it's easier to count atoms than to field all the questions a lover has about a crush. She won't answer all of Rosalind's queries, but tells her she'll give just a taste of the story of how she found Orlando—that should be enough to please the girl. Basically, she found Orlando stretched out under a tree. Celia describes him as a dropped acorn or a wounded knight. Rosalind keeps interrupting her story, until finally Celia gets exasperated and says, "Hey! There Orlando is now! Maybe you should ask him your eight million questions."
  • 3.4: Celia finds Rosalind after Rosalind's first forest meeting with Orlando. Rosalind demands that Celia not talk to her, as she'll begin to cry. Celia points out, helpfully, that Rosalind can cry all she wants, but maybe she should remember that tears aren't really becoming on a man, and Rosalind is after all still supposed to be a man.
  • 3.4: Rosalind seeks a little sympathy, and asks if she doesn't actually have good reason to cry. Celia promises her that she has as good a reason to cry as she could want.
  • 3.4: Rosalind fawns over Orlando, and Celia manages to mockingly answer each of Rosalind's praises. Rosalind loves Orlando's hair, and Celia notes that it's like Judas's hair color (yes, the Judas from the Bible). Rosalind praises Orlando's kisses for being as holy as eating holy bread. Celia responds that she bets Orlando's kisses are so holy and virginal that it's like he borrowed his lips from Diana, goddess of chastity.
  • 3.4: Celia is almost explicitly mean (or looking out for her friend, depending on your perspective). Rosalind wonders why Orlando hasn't shown up yet for their promised meeting, and Celia says, quite plainly, that he hasn't shown up because there's no truth in him (and implicitly no truth in his love for Rosalind).
  • 3.4: Rosalind asks if Celia really thinks that. She replies that, while she does believe Orlando to be more trustworthy than the common thief, she doesn't think he's dependable in love.
  • 3.4: Rosalind asks outright whether Celia is saying that Orlando isn't true in love. Celia replies that maybe he's true when he's in love, but she thinks he's not actually in love in this case. (Ouch!)
  • 3.4: Rosalind chides that Celia herself heard Orlando say he was in love, but Celia counters that "was" in love isn't "is" in love. Besides quibbling about the past and present tense, Celia says a lover can't be trusted because lovers confirm "false reckonings," or to otherwise promise the truth, even if they lie. Celia then adds that Orlando has been hanging out with Duke Senior, Rosalind's dad, in the forest.
  • 3.4: Celia lights into Orlando again after Rosalind praises the guy some more. Celia says Orlando is ready to write brave verses, and speak brave oaths, but he breaks them just as bravely. (She plays here on the meaning of brave as both courageous, but also meaning "full of bravado," or all talk and no action.) Celia compares Orlando to an amateur jouster who can't properly direct his horse and breaks his jousting stick. Still, she says anything can seem brave, if it's undertaken by youth and guided by folly.
  • 4.1: Orlando has finally shown up for his meeting with Rosalind (as Rosalind/Ganymede), and Celia teases about the whole setup. Rosalind/Ganymede says that Orlando should call him "Rosalind," and Celia says Orlando can call Rosalind/Ganymede whatever he pleases, though the real Rosalind is bound to be better looking.
  • 4.1: Rosalind (as Rosalind/Ganymede) is playing games with Orlando. She suggests they should have a fake marriage ceremony, and Celia should be the priest who marries them. Celia says she can't say the words to do it.
  • 4.1: Celia, seemingly a little exasperated, relents and pretends to be a priest. Celia asks Orlando if he'll have "this Rosalind" as his wife.
  • 4.1: After this little marriage episode, Rosalind launches into the fact that women are great when you're dating them, but that wives are a whole other type of awful. Celia listens to all of this patiently, but, once Orlando leaves, she scolds Rosalind for being so critical of women, even if she is dressed up as a man. Celia says they should lift up Rosalind's manly clothes and expose her feminine body, but also expose that she's like a bird that has soiled her own nest (i.e., she's a woman who has spoken badly of her own kind).
  • 4.1: Rosalind takes this criticism lightly, and says her affection is so deep that no one knows how deep it goes; it seems bottomless. Celia says it must really be bottomless, as it seems affections fall out of it as fast as they're poured in (meaning Rosalind is fickle and changing in her affections). Basically, Celia is saying Rosalind is more a leaky tube of love (with holes on both ends) than a vase.
  • 4.1: As Rosalind says she'll lie around and sigh about Orlando, Celia won't play an accomplice to her cousin's lovesickness. Instead, she curtly announces that she's off to sleep.
  • 4.3: Yet again, Rosalind complains that Orlando hasn't shown up for their promised meeting. Celia, not being too helpful, says Orlando must've taken his "pure love and troubled brain" and set off with his bows and arrows, not to see Rosalind, but to go to sleep.
  • 4.3: Celia and Rosalind listen to the letter Phoebe has sent to Rosalind/Ganymede, with Silvius as the messenger. Silvius seems really ignorant of the fact that this is a horrible thing for Phoebe (his crush) to have done to him, so Celia pities him, calling him a "poor shepherd."
  • 4.3: Celia gives Oliver, who's just entered the scene, instructions to their house. She tells him he can go there, though there's nobody home (without pointing out that she and Rosalind/Ganymede must be the people Oliver is looking for in the house). This is Oliver's first interaction with Celia.
  • 4.3: Celia admits, after Oliver recognizes her and "Rosalind/Ganymede" by their descriptions, that they are indeed the owners of house he's looking for, though they're not boasting. As Oliver gets going about the story with him and Orlando, Celia urges him on.
  • 4.3: Oliver (who has not yet identified himself) begins to tell about how Orlando came upon a sleeping man he realized was his elder brother. Celia then jumps in, and says she's heard Orlando talk about that brother, who is a pretty awful guy. As Oliver finally reveals his identity, Celia asks if he's the Oliver who tried to kill Orlando so often.
  • 4.3: Rosalind faints after hearing about Orlando's lioness encounter, and Celia tends to her in a bit of a panic.
  • 4.3: Oliver suggests a lot of people sometimes faint when they see blood, and Celia assures him that there's more to "Rosalind/Ganymede's" fainting than just the blood. For the first time, Celia slips up in their little charade, calling Rosalind (who is supposed to be her brother Rosalind/Ganymede) "Cousin Rosalind/Ganymede." Celia's little slip comes out only in her excited panic over Rosalind fainting.
  • 4.3: Celia helps Rosalind/Ganymede get home, as the "boy" is looking paler and paler. Her last line in the play is, fittingly, directed toward Oliver, to whom she says, "Good sir, go with us."