As You Like It Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to The Norton Shakespeare, second edition, published in 2008.
I could find in my heart to disgrace my
man's apparel and to cry like a woman, but I must
comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose
ought to show itself courageous to petticoat. Therefore
courage, good Aliena. (2.4.4-8)
On the surface, Rosalind seems to make a lot of ridiculous assumptions about what it means to be the "weaker vessel" (read: a woman). Here, she suggests that women are prone to crying and that it's a man's job to comfort women. Is she serious or is she being ironic?
CELIA [reading Orlando's love poem to Rosalind]
Therefore heaven Nature charged
That one body should be filled
With all graces wide-enlarged.
Nature presently distilled
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta's better part,
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have
And I to live and die her slave. (3.2.143-156)
Celia says that lovers tend to make idealized pictures of their mates, and women in particular fall victim to being put on a pedestal. Orlando is guilty of the same thing; all the women he cites here have had some great tragedy befall them.
Good my complexion, dost thou think,
though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a
doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of
delay more is a South-sea of discovery. I prithee,
tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. I would
thou couldst stammer, that thou might'st pour this
concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out
of a narrow-mouthed bottle—either too much at
once, or none at all. I prithee, take the cork out of
thy mouth that may drink thy tidings.
So you may put a man in your belly. (3.2.198-208)
In her giddiness over her crush Orlando, Rosalind seems to fit a stereotypical role—a silly girl who gushes over boys.