Question: Discuss Rosalind as a brilliant character.
Rosalind who is one of the brightest Shakespearean heroines is the heroine of the tragi-comedy “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The play owes much to her character and personality. She is fresher than the dew in the forest and has a subtle mysterious charm which has been felt by all.
Rosalind is extra-ordinarily beautiful. She is more than common tall and so unhesitatingly assumes the masculine disguise. Orlando views in his poems that Rosalind is heavenly.
“Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,
Atlantas better part.
Sad Lucretia’s modesty
Thus Rosalind of many parts….”
Phebe is a beauty of conventional type. She gives a more detailed description of Rosalind’s graces and appreciation. It is in her tongue:
“It is a pretty youth, not very pretty;
But, sure, he is proud, and yet his pride becomes him;
Sad and melancholy”
When we are first introduced to Rosalind in the court of her uncle, we find that she is sad and melancholy. She cannot forget her banished father. She asks Celia in the following manner how to forget a banish father.
“Unless you could not teach me how to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.”
More Notes of Drama
Rosalind is a brilliant character of well manner. Her gentleness is evident by the usurping king himself. He says to his daughter Celia about the gentleness and patient endurance of Rosalind.
“She is too subtle for thee, And her smoothness.
Her very silence and her patience
Speak to the people and they pity her.”
Rosalind is a changed creature as soon as she leaves the court and reaches the forest of Arden. In the forest, she breathes a freer and purer atmosphere. She also gives a loose rein to natural gaiety. At court, she had been gentle, silent, and submissive but in the forest, she is merry, talkative, and teasing. At the court, she is candid in the expression of her love for Orlando but in the forest, she playfully torments her lover and draws from him protestations of his love but is silent with respect to the state of her own heart, except when alone with Celia.
Wit and wisdom
In the forest, Rosalind is all vivacity and sparkling. Her wit, wisdom, sound common sense, illuminating good sense, and essential womanliness are revealed in the free and uninhabited atmosphere of the forest of Arden. She bubbles over with animal spirits and her mind thinks as rapidly as her heart feels. She chides Orlando one moment and at the next moment, she playfully beeches him.
“Come, woo me, woo me, for now, I am in a
Holiday humor and like enough to consent.”
She has a fitting reply always ready always ready to everyone – the Duke, the melancholy Jaques, Silvius, Phebe, and Touchstone. The brightness of her intellect impresses everyone. At court, it impressed Duke Frederick who tried to instill into the heart of his daughter some part of Rosalind’s character. She is critical of efficiency since the complimented verse of Orlando could not blind her in love.
Love of playful intrigue
Her ready wit and love of playful intrigue suggest to her means not only of conversing with Orlando and feeding her appetite for love but of putting his love to the test at the same time. She had many sudden devices and replies whereby she is able to escape detection in her assumed role. Of the instances which she quotes we can cite here:
“We dwell here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.
Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.”
A creative genius
Rosalind is a creative genius. She can device and create situations. She calls herself a doctor of love who is an expert in curing the disease called love. She is also a teacher because she teaches Orlando that romantic love is hollow. Silvius is taught by her the lesson of manliness. She teaches Phebe not to be proud and scornful.
Thus, it is asserted that Rosalind is the heart of the play. Her character shines the plot of the drama that is why she is a brilliant character.