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As You Like It

As You Like It


by William Shakespeare

Rosalind (Ganymede) Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2: Rosalind is understandably distressed over her banished father, though Celia would like her to be all smiles.
  • 1.2: Rosalind agrees to be happy, and she thinks of fun things for the two girls to entertain themselves with. She first mentions falling in love as good, sporting fun, and not at all the kind of thing that can end in heartache, disaster, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
  • 1.2: Rosalind jests a bit with Touchstone the fool, then excitedly stays to watch the court wrestling match between the three-time winning court wrestler and the young, inexperienced, underdog Orlando. When Rosalind meets Orlando, she goes a little soft and volunteers to ask the Duke to call off the wrestling. She says she wishes she could lend Orlando her strength and wishes him well.
  • 1.2: After watching Orlando deliver swift and complete humiliation to Charles, Rosalind thinks Orlando is "excellent." He's also unexpectedly not dead to boot. She is glad to hear that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland, a friend of her father. She gives Orlando her necklace as a token. As Orlando calls the girls back, Rosalind notes her pride must've fallen with her dignity, as she does indeed come back when called. She admits that Orlando has "overthrown more than [his] enemies."
  • 1.3: Rosalind is clearly lovesick; she says she worries not for her father, but for her child's father (talk about jumping the gun). She admits she's crazy in love.
  • 1.3: Duke Frederick shows up and turns Rosalind out, though she points out she hasn't done anything to deserve this kind of treatment (other than be hotter than his daughter). She argues with the Duke a little, claiming that his mistrust doesn't mean she's guilty—treason isn't inherited. Knowing she's washed up and bound for the mean streets of France, she also kicks back that her father wasn't a traitor.
  • 1.3: Celia hatches the plan for the two girls to run away together. Rosalind decides that she should dress as a boy, as boys are tall and so is she. This way, no one will attack them in the woods. She takes the name of Jove's page (i.e., the kid that brought him his cups). Rosalind also suggests that they bring Touchstone along for their fun banishment road trip.
  • 2.4: Rosalind would whine about how tired she is, but she can't have feelings because she's dressed like a man. (Apparently.) She urges "Aliena," or the cousin formerly known as Celia, to buck up. Rosalind (as Ganymede) then approaches the shepherd, Corin, and ends up buying his master's house.
  • 3.2: Walking through the forest, Rosalind discovers, posted on the trees, poems that praise… her! She hasn't figured out who wrote them, but, when Touchstone teases her, she threatens to hang him for being a meddler. She does it in puns though, which is the thing to do in Shakespeare.
  • 3.2: Rosalind and Celia joke over how terrible the poems are. Still, it's clear Rosalind secretly enjoys the attention. When she finds out that Celia knows the poet's identity, she falls all over herself to get the information. She's even worse when she discovers that it's Orlando, and pesters Celia to find out if he still looks "freshly." Celia finds the questions come faster than she can answer them. Rosalind replies that she's a woman, so she can't keep her mouth shut when her brain is working.
  • 3.2: After observing a conversation between Orlando and Jaques, Rosalind and Celia (as Ganymede and Aliena) enter. Jaques has left, so Orlando is alone to talk with them. Rosalind/Ganymede works him over. She gives him a lecture on time and, piquing his interest, begins to tell an elaborate lie about "his" background. Rosalind/Ganymede claims she was raised by a court uncle, who ran away from love and claimed women were generally bad news. She goes on to claim women have too many faults to list, and distracts the conversation by bringing up the recent problem of vandalism in the forest, what with some idiot declaring his love all over the trees. She claims she could fix that guy right up, if she could just get her hands on him.
  • 3.2: When Orlando confesses that he's the victim of love and the vandalizing poet of poor verse, Rosalind/Ganymede challenges it. She claims that anyone so in love would look a little more disheveled than Orlando does. She then declares that no man can be in love who spends as much time looking as pretty as his date does. Ultimately, Rosalind claims love is a madness to be cured by whipping, yet she offers a verbal remedy. Here Rosalind offers the plan to let Orlando come and pour affection on her. Meanwhile, she'll make him so miserable by scorning his affections that he'll be out of love in no time flat.
  • 3.4: Rosalind is a straight mess, cooing and crying over Orlando's hair and kisses (though, mind you, she hasn't ever kissed him). She does, however, notice that he hasn't shown up for their meeting, which is not such lover-ly behavior. Celia points out that it's probably because he isn't in love. Rosalind counters that Orlando swore he was in love. She is obviously not so full of sense at this point, as she says that she ran into her father and joked with him for a bit before going off to do her own thing (and no, she didn't reveal her identity). We know where her priorities are as she sighs, "But what talk we of fathers when there is such a man as Orlando?"
  • 3.5: Rosalind/Ganymede barges in on Silvius, who is busy trying to lie on the ground in front of Phoebe, his love who doesn't love him back. Rosalind/Ganymede, still a "saucy lackey," begins to abuse Phoebe, saying she can't be so proud and pitiless, as she's really not so pretty. Rosalind/Ganymede goes on to talk about what ugly children they'd have, and encourages Phoebe to take the shepherd, as no one else could possibly ever want her. Phoebe, of course falls for Rosalind/Ganymede, who warns her not to fall in love with him.
  • 4.1: Rosalind/Ganymede has an encounter with Jaques, who thinks Rosalind/Ganymede is "pretty" and would like to get to know "him" better. Rosalind/Ganymede, sharp-tongued as ever, accuses Jaques of being abominably melancholy—one so extreme of temperament is horrible. She diagnoses him with the sadness of travelers, and says other generally unhelpful and mean things until he goes away.
  • 4.1: Meanwhile, Orlando shows up. Rosalind/Ganymede yells at him for being late and tells him to go away—an hour late is as good as not coming at all. She says she might as well be wooed by a snail. After laying the abuse on thick, she decides to stop being mean and asks him to woo her again. She refuses him a kiss and warns that lovers only kiss when they run short of stuff to talk about. While Orlando swears he'll die if she won't love him, Rosalind goes back to being cynical. People die of all sorts of things, she says, like drowning, spears, and having their brains dashed out with a club, but never from love. Again, she delivers more abuse, and then she demands he marry her. After the fake marriage, she points out that women are awful once you've married them, and you can't love them forever, as they only get nastier with old age. Finally, she says a woman's wit becomes so awful that she can convince you that it's sensible for her to be in your neighbor's bed, as perhaps she'd gone there to look for you. Shockingly, Orlando says he had better go now, as he's supposed to have dinner with the Duke. Rosalind throws a fit, telling him if he's a minute late for their next meeting that she'll be out of love with him. Remember, of course, she's having these histrionic fits while in the guise of a pretty young boy.
  • 4.1: Rosalind gushes to Celia about how in love she is.
  • 4.3: Rosalind complains of Orlando being late again, and is overtaken by Silvius, who brings Phoebe's "loving" letter. Rosalind/Ganymede complains at some length about Phoebe, as her abuses are useless since "he" doesn't love her. Rosalind/Ganymede isn't the least bit sympathetic to Phoebe and says Silvius deserves no pity either, since he loves such an ungrateful woman. She sends a message with Silvius—if Phoebe loves Rosalind/Ganymede, Rosalind/Ganymede demands Phoebe love Silvius instead. If Phoebe refuses, then Rosalind/Ganymede won't have her unless Phoebe takes Silvius. Matter closed.
  • 4.3: Rosalind (as Rosalind/Ganymede) gets the news from Oliver about Orlando's run-in with the lioness to save his ne'er-do-well brother, which Rosalind thinks is hot. Except she's a little stressed by her would-be-lover's participation in a lioness attack, so she faints. When she comes to, she plays it off to Oliver, who might be smarter than Orlando and suspect the pretty boy is actually a woman.
  • 5.2: Rosalind/Ganymede sees Orlando and trips over his wound and courage. She flirts a bit before talking about how hasty Celia's affection for Oliver is, apparently without irony about her own love for Orlando. On hearing that the marriage will sadden Orlando a bit, as he is without his love, she mentions that she happens to have grown up with a magician who can solve all of Orlando's woes. She promises to deliver Rosalind, and then assures Silvius and Phoebe that she'll fix their matter too. She claims all their love talk is like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon (apparently worse than that of any other wolves).
  • 5.4: Rosalind enters as Rosalind/Ganymede and addresses the assembled folks. She checks in with everyone to see that they're all still in the marrying mood, and then disappears for a bit.
  • 5.4: She shows up again, this time as Rosalind, and gives herself to her father and Orlando, except in very different ways. She promises to give herself to no father if not Duke Senior, no husband if not Orlando, and no woman if not Phoebe (which is, as Touchstone pointed out earlier, a big "if").
  • Epilogue: Rosalind (played by a male actor in Shakespeare's day) closes the show and asks that everyone applaud. Though she'll not beg, she promises that, if she were a woman, she'd kiss anyone in the crowd who had good breath and a solid beard. She assumes that all such people would applaud her as she left the stage, maybe out of relief at not having to make out with a male actor, maybe excited by the possibility of fun times with this adventurous gender-bender.