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As You Like It By William Shakespeare Essay

1. As you like it is full of characters pretending to be someone other than themselves. To what degree are the characters aware that they are role-playing? Does their acting have serious consequences, or is it merely a game. In the text as you like it by William Shakespeare many characters have alter egos in whom they use to influence and associate themselves with other characters. The two main characters that are pretending to be someone other than themselves are Celia and Rosalind. In act 1 of the text Rosalind is banished from the court of the duke and decides to seek upon her father in the forest of Arden.

Rosalind and Celia decide to disguise themselves, Celia as a country girl named Aliena and Rosalind as a young man named Ganymede. Rosalind and Celia are unaware of the consequences that occur from having disguises. A consequence of Rosalind’s male disguise as Ganymede is that she makes Phebe, a female shepherdess in the forest of Arden fall in love with her. This disturbs the natural order in which Phebe is in love with a fellow shepherd Silvius. Rosalind’s gender swapping has created a consequence in she has made a woman fall in love with her when she is in love with Orlando.

In the end Phebe goes back to Silvius and the consequence of Rosalind’s role-playing is resolved. The role-playing in the text does have effects on the other characters but Rosalind does end up marrying Orlando, Celia ends up marrying Oliver and Phebe ends up marrying Silvius. So the long-term consequences of Celia and Rosalind’s role-playing are miniscule only making the text more intricate and interesting for readers. In conclusion although characters in the text as you like it do pretend to be someone else, the consequences add to detail in the text and have have no serious consequences.


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