Investigate Character Relationships

  • Rosalind

    Rosalind is the only daughter of the banished Duke Senior, and has been allowed to stay at court because of her friendship with the usurping Duke Frederick’s daughter, Celia. It is her idea, upon being banished, to disguise herself as the boy, Ganymede, for safety in the forest. It is Rosalind who finds a way to bring all the love stories to fruition at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Rosalind at the start of the play:

    • She is the daughter of the banished Duke Senior
    • She has been permitted to stay in court by Duke Frederick because of her friendship with his daughter, Celia
    • She and Celia are very close and spend their time talking about the world and their feelings, although Celia does not want to talk about ‘love’

    Things they say:

    'I thank God I am not a woman, to be touch’d with so many giddy offenses as he hath generally tax’d their whole sex withal.' (Rosalind, 3:2)

    Rosalind has a sense of humour and is self aware. She enjoys the irony of commenting on women whilst disguised as a man.

    'I pray you do not fall in love with me, / For I am falser than vows made in wine.' (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Rosalind often cleverly uses the truth to deceive.

    Things others say about them:

    'But heavenly Rosalind!' (Orlando, 1:3)

    Rosalind is beautiful. This is the first of many flattering descriptions that Orlando gives 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.' (Duke Frederick, 1:3)

    Rosalind is known to be clever, personable and patient and people are sympathetic towards her because of her father.

    'the people praise her for her virtues / And pity her for her good father’s sake' (Le Beau, 1:3)

    Rosalind is well liked.

    'thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs' (Celia, 1:3)

    Rosalind is good with words and Celia values her advice.

  • Celia

    Celia is the daughter of the tyrannical ruler Duke Frederick. She is the cousin and best friend of Rosalind. When Rosalind is banished from the court by Duke Frederick, Celia decides to go with her to the Forest of Arden and disguises herself as a shepherdess called ‘Aliena’. In the forest she meets Oliver, who falls in love with and ultimately marries her.

    Facts we learn about Celia at the start of the play:

    • Celia is the daughter of the current duke but will stand up to him if she needs to
    • She is passionate about what she believes in and tries to help Rosalind however she can
    • She is extremely loyal to Rosalind and takes her cousin's punishment as her own

    Things they say:

    ‘I would I were invisible to catch the strong fellow by the leg’ (Celia, 1:2)

    Celia wants to help others, and tries to protect Orlando in a fight she sees as unfair.

    ‘If she [Rosalind] be a traitor, Why so am I’ (Celia, 1:3)

    Celia is fiercely loyal.

    ‘I like this place / And willingly could waste my time in it’ (Celia, 2:4)

    Celia is adventurous and enjoys the freedom of the forest.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I will forget the condition of my estate to rejoice in yours’ (Rosalind, 1:2)

    Celia is extremely close to Rosalind, and they celebrate each other's fortune.

    ‘you are a fool’ (Duke Frederick, 1:3)

    Celia stands up to her father, although he thinks this is foolish.

    ‘my pretty little coz’ (Rosalind, 4:1)

    Celia is sweet natured, but Rosalind also views her as less mature.

  • Orlando

    Orlando is the youngest son of the late Sir Rowland de Bois. He enters a wrestling contest in order to win enough money to get away from his brother, Oliver, who has mistreated him since their father’s death. He becomes the instant love interest of Rosalind and marries her at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Orlando at the start of the play:

    • He is being kept in poverty by his brother Oliver, despite his father’s dying wishes
    • He challenges Charles the Wrestler to a duel as a way of escaping his situation at home
    • He has an old servant called Adam who he trusts and can confide in

    Things they say:

    'I am more proud to be Sir Rowland’s son, / His youngest son, and would not change that calling / To be adopted heir to Frederick.' (Orlando, 1:2)

    Orlando is proud of his father and his family name. He is also not afraid to say this when faced with punishment, suggesting he is also brave and honest.

    'I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois.' (Orlando, 1:1)

    Orlando sees himself as a good man.

    'I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill me.' (Orlando, 4:1)

    Orlando desperately wants Rosalind to approve of him.

    Things others say about them:

    'I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul (yet I know not why) hates nothing more than he. Yet he’s gentle, never school’d and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly belov’d, and indeed so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether mispris’d.' (Oliver, 1:1)

    Orlando is noble and loved by everyone, even his brother Oliver who hates him recognises these qualities.

    'The worst fault you have is to be in love.' (Jaques, 3:2)

    Orlando has few faults.

  • Oliver

    Oliver is the eldest son of the late Sir Rowland de Bois and the older brother of Orlando and Jaques de Bois. Although he treats Jaques well, he is horrible to Orlando, treating him very poorly. However, when Oliver goes to the Forest of Arden, Orlando ends up saving Oliver’s life and Oliver changes his opinion of Orlando. Oliver falls in love with Celia and marries her at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Oliver at the start of the play:

    • He is cruel and treats his brother Orlando unfairly
    • He wants Charles the Wrestler to kill his brother and is actively plotting against Orlando
    • He has treated Orlando this way for some time, and has driven Orlando to compete in the wrestling to escape

    Things they say:

    ‘I never loved my brother in my life’ (Oliver, 3:1)

    Oliver is resolute about how much he hates his brother and is stubborn in his opinions.

    ‘I do not shame / To tell you what I was, since my conversion / So sweetly tastes’ (Oliver, 4:3)

    Oliver is not afraid to admit that he was wrong, when he realises his behaviour was not fair.

    ‘all the revenue that was old Sir Rowland’s will I estate upon you [Orlando], and here live and die a shepherd’ (Oliver, 5:2)

    Oliver is completely transformed by his love for Celia and becomes very generous in his attitudes.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘the enemy of all your [Orlando’s] graces’ (Adam, 2:3)

    Oliver is the main cause of all of Orlando’s problems.

    ‘the most unnatural/That lived amongst men’ (Celia, 4:3)

    Oliver did not behave as a brother to Orlando, something others see as ‘unnatural’ behaviour.

  • Jaques

    Jaques is a lord who accompanies the banished Duke Senior into the Forest of Arden when he is exiled. He is extremely melancholy and enjoys wallowing in his sadness. At the end of the play, when most of the characters are going to return to the court, Jaques decides that he will not join them and instead continues to lead a solitary life.

    Facts we learn about Jaques at the start of the play:

    • He is a loyal follower of Duke Senior
    • He is known for his gloomy outlook on life
    • He enjoys crying and brooding sadly over things

    Things they say:

    ‘I can suck melancholy out of a song / As a weasel sucks eggs’ (Jaques, 2:5)

    Being pessimistic comes immensely easily to Jaques.

    ‘I must have liberty’ (Jaques, 2:7)

    He does not like to be confined and needs to have freedom.

    ‘I do love it [melancholy] better than laughing’ (Jaques, 4:1)

    Jaques would rather be sad than happy, as he gets more enjoyment out of being miserable than he does out of being cheerful.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘the melancholy Jaques’ (First Lord, 2:1)

    He is well known for being a sad fellow.

    ‘I love to cope him in these sullen fits / For then he’s full of matter’ (Duke Senior, 2:1)

    Duke Senior particularly enjoys Jaques’ company when he is sad because that is when he has the most to say.

    ‘Thou thyself hast been a libertine’ (Duke Senior, 2:7)

    Jaques was once a wild, free-spirited young man.

  • Phoebe

    Phoebe is a shepherdess in the Forest of Arden. She rejects Silvius, even though he is passionately in love with her and instead she falls for ‘Ganymede’, who is Rosalind in disguise. Rosalind manages to persuade Phoebe not to love her and ultimately Phoebe accepts Silvius at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Phoebe:

    • She is strong willed
    • She is quick to fall in love
    • She is easily offended

    Things they say:

    ‘if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee’ (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Phoebe is desperate for Silvius to stop pursuing her.

    ‘I marvel why I answered not again’ (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Sometimes she doesn’t understand her own reactions to people or things.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘proud and pitiless’ (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Phoebe has too high an opinion of herself and is unnecessarily mean to Silvius.

    ‘sweet Phoebe’ (Silvius, 3:5)

    Although Phoebe is rude to Silvius, she has still made him adore her, whether she wants the attention or not.

    ‘she has a huswife’s hand’ (Rosalind, 4:3)

    Phoebe is coarse and harsh.

  • Duke Senior

    Duke Senior is the older brother of the usurping Duke Frederick, who has ousted him from his rightful position as duke and banished him from court. Duke Senior has gone into hiding in the forest of Arden, accompanied by loyal lords from his days as duke. By the end of the play, he has been returned to his rightful position.

    Facts we learn about Duke Senior at the start of the play:

    • He is the rightful duke and is not widely considered to be a traitor, even though his brother claims he was
    • He has a daughter called Rosalind, who is still at court
    • He is able to appreciate the natural world of Arden and there he finds ‘good in everything’ (2:1)

    Things they say:

    'Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile, / hath not old custom made this life more sweet/ than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods / more free from peril than the envious court? / Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, / the seasons' difference, as the icy fang / and churlish chiding of the winter's wind, / which, when it bites and blows upon my body, / even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say / 'This is no flattery: these are counsellors / that feelingly persuade me what I am.' (Duke Senior, 2:1)

    Duke Senior is positive about his exile, and sees the good side of being surrounded by nature.

    'Come, shall we go and kill us venison? / And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools, / being native burghers of this desert city, / should in their own confines with forked heads / have their round haunches gored.' (Duke Senior, 2:1)

    Duke Senior is a reflective man, who considers the impact they are having on the forest and the native animals.

    Things others say about them:

    'The old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke, and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke' (Charles, 1:1)

    Duke Senior has loyal followers who would give up everything for him.

    'They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly as they did in the golden world.' (Charles, 1:1)

    Duke Senior was a good leader, and his time in charge is seen as ‘golden’. People even leave to join him in the forest.

    'My father was no traitor.' (Rosalind, 1:3)

    Duke Senior was a good father, who Rosalind defends directly to her uncle.

  • Duke Frederick

    Duke Frederick is the younger brother of Duke Senior. Duke Frederick usurps his older brother’s rightful position as duke, sending Duke Senior into exile. Paranoid that Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is a threat because the people like her, he banishes her too, losing his daughter at the same time.

    Facts we learn about Duke Frederick at the start of the play:

    • He is envious, paranoid, temperamental and impulsive
    • His rash actions are damaging to his relationship with his daughter Celia
    • He rules in a despotic way

    Things they say:

    'The world esteemed thy father honourable, / But I did find him still mine enemy.’ (Duke Frederick, 1:2)

    Duke Frederick hated his brother, despite the fact the ‘world’ liked him.

    'Let it suffice that I trust thee not’ (Duke Frederick, 1:2)

    Duke Frederick is paranoid and finds trust difficult.

    Things others say about them:

    'such is now the duke’s condition / That he misconstrues all that you have done. / The duke is humorous: what he is indeed / More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.' (Le Beau to Orlando, 1:2)

    Duke Frederick is temperamental and unpredictable, and some people at court are afraid to speak openly and honestly.

    'know’st thou not the duke / Hath banished me, his daughter' (Celia, 1:2)

    Duke Frederick is stubborn and upsets his own daughter by banishing Rosalind, pushing Celia to leave him as well.

    'From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother’ (Orlando, 1:3)

    Duke Frederick is described as a tyrant by Orlando.

    'My father’s rough and envious disposition / Sticks me at heart.' (Celia to Rosalind, 1:2)

    Duke Frederick is harsh and envious, and does not have a strong relationship with his daughter Celia.

  • Corin

    Corin is an elderly shepherd who tries to console and give advice to Silvius, as well as finding shelter for Rosalind and Celia and offering advice to several of the other characters. Silvius considers him too old to understand love, but Corin claims he has been in love before and understands. His outlook is quite simple, and he has only ever lived in the forest and tended sheep.

    Facts we learn about Corin at the start of the play:

    • He has always lived in the Forest of Arden and has never been to court
    • He does not own the sheep that he looks after
    • He is a friend of Silvius’, even though Silvius doesn’t really listen to him

    Things they say:

    ‘I have loved ere now’ (Corin, 2:4)

    Corin is a sensitive man who has been in love in the past.

    ‘I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man’s happiness’ (Corin, 3:2)

    Corin is self sufficient, lives simply and is not jealous of those who have more than him.

    ‘the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck’ (Corin, 3:2)

    Corin takes pleasure in simple things, including the wellbeing of the animals that he looks after.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘Being old, thou canst not guess’ (Silvius, 2:4)

    Corin is older, making it hard for others to listen to his advice on young love.

    ‘a natural philosopher’ (Touchstone, 3:2)

    Corin has a simple outlook on life which gives him a ‘natural’ insight, although Touchstone uses this to make fun of him.

    ‘thou art raw’ (Touchstone, 3:2)

    Corin does not have the manners and refinement of the court.

  • Touchstone

    Touchstone is the court jester, sometimes referred to as ‘clown’ or ‘fool’. He travels with Rosalind and Celia into the Forest of Arden where he meets and woos Audrey, the goatherd. They marry at the end of the play.

    Facts we learn about Touchstone at the start of the play:

    • He is willing to follow Celia and Rosalind into the forest of Arden despite having a comfortable life in court
    • He is very witty, but his observations also often help us understand other characters and the plot of the play better
    • As the court fool, he is able to say what he wants without fear of getting into trouble

    Things they say:

    ’The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.’ (Touchstone, 5:1)

    Touchstone uses his wit to mock William and others in the play.

    ’No, truly, for the truest poetry is the most feigning, and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers, they do feign.’ (Touchstone, 3:3)

    Touchstone is cynical about love and romance.

    ’I have trod a measure, I have flattered a lady’ (Touchstone, 5:4)

    Touchstone claims he is a courtier and seems to like to feel superior to others.

    Things others say about them:

    ’a motley fool’ (Jaques, 2:7)

    Touchstone is a court jester and wears the traditional colourful costume of the role.

    ’Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.’ (Rosalind, 2:4)

    Although he is a fool, a lot of what Touchstone says is insightful.

    ’He uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.’ (Duke Senior, 5:4)

    Touchstone is very clever, and uses his humour to make stinging remarks.

  • Audrey

    Audrey is a goatherd who lives in the forest. She falls in love with Touchstone, who woos her and convinces her to marry him before he scares away her other suitor, William. She comes across as quite simple and straightforward in her outlook and Touchstone uses this to his advantage.

    Facts we learn about Audrey:

    • She is not very well educated and often asks others what things mean
    • She has a number of suitors who want to marry her
    • She takes pride in herself

    Things they say:

    ‘I am not fair, and therefore I pray the gods make me honest’ (Audrey, 3:3)

    Audrey doesn’t consider herself to be beautiful but would like to be thought of as a good person by others.

    ‘I am not a slut’ (Audrey, 3:3)

    She doesn’t consider herself to be dirty and defends her appearance.

    ‘I hope it is no dishonest desire to be a woman of the world’ (Audrey, 5:3)

    Audrey is keen to be more knowledgeable about things than she is.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I will marry thee’ (Touchstone, 3:3)

    Touchstone is besotted with Audrey and determined to make her his wife.

    ‘Gentle Audrey’ (Touchstone, 5:1)

    She is sweet and kind natured.

  • Silvius

    Silvius is a young shepherd who is madly in love with Phoebe. He pursues her, even though she rejects him on multiple occasions. Ultimately he does manage to win her hand in marriage.

    Facts we learn about Silvius:

    • He is friends with the older shepherd Corin
    • He can be narrow minded and not receptive to the advice of others
    • He is persistent and dedicated in his quest to make Phoebe love him

    Things they say:

    ‘That thou knew’st how I do love her’ (Silvius, 2:4)

    From the outset Silvius makes his love for Phoebe public.

    ‘So holy and so perfect is my love’ (Silvius, 3:5)

    He thinks that his love for Phoebe is completely pure and noble and he isn’t prepared to give up on her.

    ‘It is to be all made of sighs and tears, / And so am I for Phoebe’ (Silvius, 5:2)

    Despite how badly Phoebe treats him throughout the play, Silvius remains faithful to her.

    Things others say about them:

    ‘I am sorry for thee gentle Silvius’ (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Silvius is a sympathetic character who is sweet and kind.

    ‘you are a thousand times a properer man / Than she [Phoebe] a woman’ (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Silvius earns the respect and admiration of Rosalind.

Explore their relationships

Rosalind

  • Rosalind - Duke Senior

    Father and daughter are separated by Duke Frederick, Rosalind’s uncle, who has banished Duke Senior and forced them to live apart. Rosalind has been allowed to stay at court but her position and safety have changed dramatically without her father nearby, although she clearly misses him and struggles to forget what has happened.

    'I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.' (Rosalind, 1:2)

    Rosalind does not go immediately to her father when she and Celia arrive in the Forest of Arden, and they are only reunited in the final scene when she reveals who she is to both her father and Orlando. While there are lots of reveals and reunions, it is clear that father and daughter are happy to see each other.

    'If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.' (Duke Senior, 5:4)
    'I'll have no father, if you be not he' (Rosalind, 5:4)

  • Rosalind - Celia

    Celia and Rosalind are incredibly close. Although Rosalind’s position at court is difficult, her uncle has allowed her to stay because of her relationship with Celia. They spend a lot of time talking about the world around them and supporting each other, although Celia will not play games with Rosalind about ‘love’.

    'never two ladies loved as they do.' (Charles the Wrestler, 1:1)

    When Rosalind is sent away by Duke Senior, Celia tells Rosalind that she will go with her. Together, they form a plan to run into the forest and disguise themselves. While Rosalind seems afraid of banishment at first, with Celia’s help they both start to see running away as a chance to find ‘liberty’.

    'And do not seek to take your change upon you, / To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out; / For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale, / Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.' (Celia, 1:3)
    'Now go we in content / To liberty and not to banishment.' (Celia, 1:3)

    Once Rosalind has reunited with Orlando in the Forest of Arden, Celia says a lot less. At first they laugh together at the poetry Orlando has written but as Celia witnesses Rosalind playing games with Orlando, she doesn’t seem to approve of the lies her friend is telling and the deception.

    'You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate: we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your head, and show the world what the bird hath done to her own nest.' (Celia, 4:1)

    As Celia meets and falls in love with Oliver, the friends become even more distant. Rosalind feels as though she is the only one who can’t openly talk about her feelings because of her disguise and talks to Orlando wistfully about how quickly Oliver and Celia have been able to fall in love.

    'for your brother and my sister no sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason, no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy' (Rosalind, 5:2)

    Once they have revealed their true identities and can be happy with Oliver and Orlando, Celia and Rosalind appear to be close again. Both of them marry in the final scenes of the play although Celia has very few lines and they don’t directly address each other.

    'Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites, / As we do trust they'll end, in true delights.' (Duke Senior, 5:4)

  • Rosalind - Orlando

    Orlando and Rosalind fall for each other at the wrestling match in Act 1 Scene 2 with Orlando calling her a ‘fair princess’. She gives him her necklace.

    'Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune, / That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.' (Rosalind, 1:2)
    'What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? / I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference. / O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown! '(Orlando, 1:2)

    Orlando’s love for Rosalind grows when he is in the forest and he wanders around writing poetry for her and carving her name on the trees, unable to forget her. At first, she does not know who the poems have been written by but is excited to find out it is Orlando.

    'Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree / The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.' (Orlando, 3:2)
    'It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops / forth such fruit.' (Rosalind, 3:2)

    In her disguise as ‘Ganymede’ Rosalind tells Orlando that ‘love is merely a madness’ (3:2) and she offers to cure him and teach him what love really is, but is really disappointed when he is late for his appointment with her and does not take their ‘lesson’ seriously.

    'Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I had as lief be wooed of a snail' (Rosalind, 4:1)

    Their relationship strengthens as Ganymede and Orlando become closer. Rosalind discovers that the wounded Orlando sent Oliver looking for Ganymede to explain why he had broken his promise to meet.

    'now he fainted / And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind. / Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound; / And, after some small space, being strong at heart, / He sent me hither, stranger as I am, / To tell this story, that you might excuse / His broken promise' (Oliver, 4:3)

    Their relationship is at its strongest towards the end of the play when ‘Ganymede’ promises to produce Rosalind so that they can be married on the same day as Oliver and Celia. Shortly after, Orlando learns that Ganymede is Rosalind and the pair marry.

    'If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries it out, when your brother marries Aliena, shall you marry her' (Rosalind, 5:2)

  • Rosalind - Phoebe

    Their relationship does not get off to a good start when Rosalind tells Phoebe off for insulting Silvius and rejecting his advances. Rosalind also says that she has ‘no beauty’.

    'For I must tell you friendly in your ear, / Sell when you can: you are not for all markets: / Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer' (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Phoebe immediately falls for Ganymede declaring that she would rather hear Ganymede ‘chide’ than Silvius ‘woo’. As Ganymede, Rosalind warns Phoebe not to fall in love with her, but Phoebe does not listen.

    'I pray you, do not fall in love with me, / For I am falser than vows made in wine:' (Rosalind, 3:5)
    'Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together: / I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.' (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Phoebe is desperate for ‘Ganymede’ to understand how she feels, sending her a letter describing ‘this love in me’. Silvius faithfully carries the messages for her.

    'Patience herself would startle at this letter / And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all: / She says I am not fair, that I lack manners; / She calls me proud, and that she could not love me' (Rosalind, 4:3)
    'If the scorn of your bright eyne / Have power to raise such love in mine, / Alack, in me what strange effect / Would they work in mild aspect!' (From Phoebe’s letter, 4:3)

    Phoebe changes her mind about her feelings for ‘Ganymede’ when she discovers that ‘he’ showed her letter to Silvius and she tells Ganymede off for his ‘ungentleness’. Rosalind uses this to try and convince Phoebe to love Silvius instead.

    'Youth, you have done me much ungentleness, / To show the letter that I writ to you.' (Phoebe, 5:2)
    'I care not if I have: it is my study / To seem despiteful and ungentle to you: / You are there followed by a faithful shepherd; / Look upon him, love him; he worships you.' (Rosalind, 5:2)

Celia

  • Celia - Duke Frederick

    The duke’s relationship with his daughter is reasonably strong early in the play. Although Frederick banished Rosalind’s father, he kept Rosalind at court for Celia’s sake as they are so close and he seems to value his only child.

    'Celia; we stay'd her for your sake, / Else had she with her father ranged along.' (Duke Frederick, 1:3)
    'You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have' (Celia, 1:2)

    When the Duke banishes his niece Rosalind and tells her to ‘dispatch’ with ‘haste’ (1:3), Celia begs her father to let Rosalind stay. He refuses to listen to her pleas and Celia chooses loyalty to her cousin over obeying her father.

    'Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege: / I cannot live out of her company.' (Celia, 1:3)
    'Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl? / No: let my father seek another heir.' (Celia, 1:3)

    We do not hear from Celia or Duke Frederick at the end of the play. However, Duke Senior is pleased to see Celia and the text suggests that he will treat her like his daughter, now that Duke Frederick has given him back the dukedom. It is not clear if this means that Celia and her father will be reunited but it does offer a hopeful conclusion.

    'O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me! / Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree' (Duke Senior, 5:4)

  • Celia - Rosalind

    Celia and Rosalind are incredibly close. Although Rosalind’s position at court is difficult, her uncle has allowed her to stay because of her relationship with Celia. They spend a lot of time talking about the world around them and supporting each other, although Celia will not play games with Rosalind about ‘love’.

    'never two ladies loved as they do.' (Charles the Wrestler, 1:1)

    When Rosalind is sent away by Duke Senior, Celia tells Rosalind that she will go with her. Together, they form a plan to run into the forest and disguise themselves. While Rosalind seems afraid of banishment at first, with Celia’s help they both start to see running away as a chance to find ‘liberty’.

    'And do not seek to take your change upon you, / To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out; / For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale, / Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.' (Celia, 1:3)
    'Now go we in content / To liberty and not to banishment.' (Celia, 1:3)

    Once Rosalind has reunited with Orlando in the Forest of Arden, Celia says a lot less. At first they laugh together at the poetry Orlando has written but as Celia witnesses Rosalind playing games with Orlando, she doesn’t seem to approve of the lies her friend is telling and the deception.

    'You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate: we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your head, and show the world what the bird hath done to her own nest.' (Celia, 4:1)

    As Celia meets and falls in love with Oliver, the friends become even more distant. Rosalind feels as though she is the only one who can’t openly talk about her feelings because of her disguise and talks to Orlando wistfully about how quickly Oliver and Celia have been able to fall in love.

    'for your brother and my sister no sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason, no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy' (Rosalind, 5:2)

    Once they have revealed their true identities and can be happy with Oliver and Orlando, Celia and Rosalind appear to be close again. Both of them marry in the final scenes of the play although Celia has very few lines and they don’t directly address each other.

    'Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites, / As we do trust they'll end, in true delights.' (Duke Senior, 5:4)

  • Celia - Oliver

    Oliver encounters Celia in her disguise as ‘Aliena’ in the woods, immediately calling her ‘fair’ and taking a liking to her (4:3).

    ’Good morrow, fair ones’ (Oliver, 4:3)

    Even though they have only just met, Oliver is passionate about Aliena, telling Orlando ‘I love her’ and declaring that he will happily give up his inheritance and live in the forest if he can marry Aliena.

    'say with me, / I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me; / consent with both that we may enjoy each other' (Oliver, 5:2)

    Celia and Oliver marry at the end of the play, along with Rosalind and Orlando, Phoebe and Silvius, Audrey and Touchstone.

    'They shall be married tomorrow, and I will bid the duke to the nuptial.' (Orlando, 5:2)

Orlando

  • Orlando - Oliver

    Oliver and Orlando have a difficult relationship at the start of the play. Their father has died but had asked his eldest son Oliver to provide for both his brothers. However, Oliver treats Orlando badly and forces him to live like an animal, saying ‘his horses are bred better’ (1:1).

    'My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it' (Orlando, 1:1)

    When Orlando objects to how he is being treated, Oliver plots to destroy Orlando and have him killed. He acknowledges that his brother is ‘noble’ and although he hasn’t had an education, he thinks Orlando is ‘learned’ but that his soul hates him.

    ' I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he.' (Oliver, 1:1)

    Orlando returns home after he has won the wrestling match and been sent away by Duke Frederick. As he returns, the family servant Adam warns him to run away and not trust Oliver, saying Oliver will kill him and calls the house a ‘butchery’.

    'Hath heard your praises, and this night he means / To burn the lodging where you use to lie / And you within it: if he fail of that, / He will have other means to cut you off.' (Adam, 2:3)

    Oliver is charged with going into the forest to find and kill his brother by Duke Frederick. Oliver accepts this challenge and is willing to hunt his own brother to gain favour.

    'Find out thy brother, wheresoe'er he is; / Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living / Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more / To seek a living in our territory.' (Duke Frederick, 3:1)
    'O that your highness knew my heart in this! / I never loved my brother in my life.' (Oliver, 3:1)

    Oliver and Orlando’s relationship becomes close and strong when Orlando saves Oliver’s life fighting off a lioness in the woods. Oliver admits that Orlando is full of ‘kindness’ (4.3) and his feelings towards his brother have changed.

    'he led me to the gentle duke, / Who gave me fresh array and entertainment, / Committing me unto my brother's love; / Who led me instantly unto his cave' (Oliver, 4:3)

  • Orlando - Rosalind

    Orlando and Rosalind fall for each other at the wrestling match in Act 1 Scene 2 with Orlando calling her a ‘fair princess’. She gives him her necklace.

    'Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune, / That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.' (Rosalind, 1:2)
    'What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? / I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference. / O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown! '(Orlando, 1:2)

    Orlando’s love for Rosalind grows when he is in the forest and he wanders around writing poetry for her and carving her name on the trees, unable to forget her. At first, she does not know who the poems have been written by but is excited to find out it is Orlando.

    'Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree / The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.' (Orlando, 3:2)
    'It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops / forth such fruit.' (Rosalind, 3:2)

    In her disguise as ‘Ganymede’ Rosalind tells Orlando that ‘love is merely a madness’ (3:2) and she offers to cure him and teach him what love really is, but is really disappointed when he is late for his appointment with her and does not take their ‘lesson’ seriously.

    'Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I had as lief be wooed of a snail' (Rosalind, 4:1)

    Their relationship strengthens as Ganymede and Orlando become closer. Rosalind discovers that the wounded Orlando sent Oliver looking for Ganymede to explain why he had broken his promise to meet.

    'now he fainted / And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind. / Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound; / And, after some small space, being strong at heart, / He sent me hither, stranger as I am, / To tell this story, that you might excuse / His broken promise' (Oliver, 4:3)

    Their relationship is at its strongest towards the end of the play when ‘Ganymede’ promises to produce Rosalind so that they can be married on the same day as Oliver and Celia. Shortly after, Orlando learns that Ganymede is Rosalind and the pair marry.

    'If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries it out, when your brother marries Aliena, shall you marry her' (Rosalind, 5:2)

Oliver

  • Oliver - Orlando

    Oliver and Orlando have a difficult relationship at the start of the play. Their father has died but had asked his eldest son Oliver to provide for both his brothers. However, Oliver treats Orlando badly and forces him to live like an animal, saying ‘his horses are bred better’ (1:1).

    'My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it' (Orlando, 1:1)

    When Orlando objects to how he is being treated, Oliver plots to destroy Orlando and have him killed. He acknowledges that his brother is ‘noble’ and although he hasn’t had an education, he thinks Orlando is ‘learned’ but that his soul hates him.

    ' I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he.' (Oliver, 1:1)

    Orlando returns home after he has won the wrestling match and been sent away by Duke Frederick. As he returns, the family servant Adam warns him to run away and not trust Oliver, saying Oliver will kill him and calls the house a ‘butchery’.

    'Hath heard your praises, and this night he means / To burn the lodging where you use to lie / And you within it: if he fail of that, / He will have other means to cut you off.' (Adam, 2:3)

    Oliver is charged with going into the forest to find and kill his brother by Duke Frederick. Oliver accepts this challenge and is willing to hunt his own brother to gain favour.

    'Find out thy brother, wheresoe'er he is; / Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living / Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more / To seek a living in our territory.' (Duke Frederick, 3:1)
    'O that your highness knew my heart in this! / I never loved my brother in my life.' (Oliver, 3:1)

    Oliver and Orlando’s relationship becomes close and strong when Orlando saves Oliver’s life fighting off a lioness in the woods. Oliver admits that Orlando is full of ‘kindness’ (4.3) and his feelings towards his brother have changed.

    'he led me to the gentle duke, / Who gave me fresh array and entertainment, / Committing me unto my brother's love; / Who led me instantly unto his cave' (Oliver, 4:3)

  • Oliver - Celia

    Oliver encounters Celia in her disguise as ‘Aliena’ in the woods, immediately calling her ‘fair’ and taking a liking to her (4:3).

    ’Good morrow, fair ones’ (Oliver, 4:3)

    Even though they have only just met, Oliver is passionate about Aliena, telling Orlando ‘I love her’ and declaring that he will happily give up his inheritance and live in the forest if he can marry Aliena.

    'say with me, / I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me; / consent with both that we may enjoy each other' (Oliver, 5:2)

    Celia and Oliver marry at the end of the play, along with Rosalind and Orlando, Phoebe and Silvius, Audrey and Touchstone.

    'They shall be married tomorrow, and I will bid the duke to the nuptial.' (Orlando, 5:2)

Phoebe

  • Phoebe - Rosalind

    Their relationship does not get off to a good start when Rosalind tells Phoebe off for insulting Silvius and rejecting his advances. Rosalind also says that she has ‘no beauty’.

    'For I must tell you friendly in your ear, / Sell when you can: you are not for all markets: / Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer' (Rosalind, 3:5)

    Phoebe immediately falls for Ganymede declaring that she would rather hear Ganymede ‘chide’ than Silvius ‘woo’. As Ganymede, Rosalind warns Phoebe not to fall in love with her, but Phoebe does not listen.

    'I pray you, do not fall in love with me, / For I am falser than vows made in wine:' (Rosalind, 3:5)
    'Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together: / I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.' (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Phoebe is desperate for ‘Ganymede’ to understand how she feels, sending her a letter describing ‘this love in me’. Silvius faithfully carries the messages for her.

    'Patience herself would startle at this letter / And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all: / She says I am not fair, that I lack manners; / She calls me proud, and that she could not love me' (Rosalind, 4:3)
    'If the scorn of your bright eyne / Have power to raise such love in mine, / Alack, in me what strange effect / Would they work in mild aspect!' (From Phoebe’s letter, 4:3)

    Phoebe changes her mind about her feelings for ‘Ganymede’ when she discovers that ‘he’ showed her letter to Silvius and she tells Ganymede off for his ‘ungentleness’. Rosalind uses this to try and convince Phoebe to love Silvius instead.

    'Youth, you have done me much ungentleness, / To show the letter that I writ to you.' (Phoebe, 5:2)
    'I care not if I have: it is my study / To seem despiteful and ungentle to you: / You are there followed by a faithful shepherd; / Look upon him, love him; he worships you.' (Rosalind, 5:2)

  • Phoebe - Silvius

    Silvius’ love for Phoebe is strong from the start and he exclaims to Corin that he wishes Corin ‘knew’st how I do love her’ and ‘rails’ about how strong his love is.

    'Thou hast not loved: / Or if thou hast not broke from company / Abruptly, as my passion now makes me, / Thou hast not loved. / O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!' (Silvius, 2:4)

    Their relationship is not going well when Silvius begs Phoebe to love him instead of ‘scorn’ him, but Phoebe rejects Silvius and implores ‘come not thou near me’ (3:5).

    'Sweet Phoebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phoebe; / Say that you love me not, but say not so / In bitterness.' (Silvius, 3:5)
    'Come not thou near me:' (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Silvius and Phoebe’s relationship is strongest after Phoebe agrees that she will marry Silvius if she does not want Ganymede. After discovering that Ganymede is actually Rosalind she bids ‘adieu’ to her old love and marries the shepherd.

    'I will not eat my word, now thou art mine; / Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.' (Phoebe, 5:4)

Duke Senior

  • Duke Senior - Duke Frederick

    The relationship between the two brothers is in a terrible state at the start of the play. Duke Frederick has usurped his older brother Duke Senior and sent the previous duke into exile in the Forest of Arden.

    ‘the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke’ (1:1)

    In the final scene of the play it is suggested that their relationship will be restored and resolved. Duke Frederick has heard about what has happened in the Forest of Arden and meets with a religious man who converts him and he decides to reinstate his brother as duke.

    'His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother, / And all their lands restored to them again / That were with him exiled.' (Jaques de Bois, 5:4)

  • Duke Senior - Rosalind

    Father and daughter are separated by Duke Frederick, Rosalind’s uncle, who has banished Duke Senior and forced them to live apart. Rosalind has been allowed to stay at court but her position and safety have changed dramatically without her father nearby, although she clearly misses him and struggles to forget what has happened.

    'I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.' (Rosalind, 1:2)

    Rosalind does not go immediately to her father when she and Celia arrive in the Forest of Arden, and they are only reunited in the final scene when she reveals who she is to both her father and Orlando. While there are lots of reveals and reunions, it is clear that father and daughter are happy to see each other.

    'If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.' (Duke Senior, 5:4)
    'I'll have no father, if you be not he' (Rosalind, 5:4)

Duke Frederick

  • Duke Frederick - Duke Senior

    The relationship between the two brothers is in a terrible state at the start of the play. Duke Frederick has usurped his older brother Duke Senior and sent the previous duke into exile in the Forest of Arden.

    ‘the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke’ (1:1)

    In the final scene of the play it is suggested that their relationship will be restored and resolved. Duke Frederick has heard about what has happened in the Forest of Arden and meets with a religious man who converts him and he decides to reinstate his brother as duke.

    'His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother, / And all their lands restored to them again / That were with him exiled.' (Jaques de Bois, 5:4)

  • Duke Frederick - Celia

    The duke’s relationship with his daughter is reasonably strong early in the play. Although Frederick banished Rosalind’s father, he kept Rosalind at court for Celia’s sake as they are so close and he seems to value his only child.

    'Celia; we stay'd her for your sake, / Else had she with her father ranged along.' (Duke Frederick, 1:3)
    'You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have' (Celia, 1:2)

    When the Duke banishes his niece Rosalind and tells her to ‘dispatch’ with ‘haste’ (1:3), Celia begs her father to let Rosalind stay. He refuses to listen to her pleas and Celia chooses loyalty to her cousin over obeying her father.

    'Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege: / I cannot live out of her company.' (Celia, 1:3)
    'Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl? / No: let my father seek another heir.' (Celia, 1:3)

    We do not hear from Celia or Duke Frederick at the end of the play. However, Duke Senior is pleased to see Celia and the text suggests that he will treat her like his daughter, now that Duke Frederick has given him back the dukedom. It is not clear if this means that Celia and her father will be reunited but it does offer a hopeful conclusion.

    'O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me! / Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree' (Duke Senior, 5:4)

Touchstone

  • Touchstone - Audrey

    Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship begins well with him wooing her, calling her ‘good Audrey’ and promising to ‘fetch up’ her goats. She seems to like Touchstone as well, although claims to not really understand poetry and language of love.

    'And how, Audrey? am I the man yet? / doth my simple feature content you?' (Touchstone, 3:3)
    'Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!' (Audrey, 3:3)

    Touchstone tells Audrey he has arranged for them to be married in the woods and seems to be willing to commit to her, which makes Audrey even more enthusiastic about him. However, Jaques’ comments and the language Touchstone uses suggest he is not being ‘honest’ and he really only means to sleep with her.

    'Come, sweet Audrey: / We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.' (Touchstone, 3:3)
    'Well, the gods give us joy!' (Audrey, 3:3)

    Before they get married, Touchstone is keen to scare off William, another of Audrey’s suitors who ‘lays claim’ to her. Touchstone says he will ‘kill’ him unless he goes ‘away’ (5:1), leaving Audrey free to marry Touchstone.

    ' I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble and depart.' (Touchstone, 5:1)

    Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship is strongest in the play in Act 5 Scene 3 when they rejoice that ‘tomorrow is the joyful day’ that they will be married and Audrey admits that she really wants to get married.

    'I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world.' (Audrey, 5:3)

Audrey

  • Audrey - Touchstone

    Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship begins well with him wooing her, calling her ‘good Audrey’ and promising to ‘fetch up’ her goats. She seems to like Touchstone as well, although claims to not really understand poetry and language of love.

    'And how, Audrey? am I the man yet? / doth my simple feature content you?' (Touchstone, 3:3)
    'Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!' (Audrey, 3:3)

    Touchstone tells Audrey he has arranged for them to be married in the woods and seems to be willing to commit to her, which makes Audrey even more enthusiastic about him. However, Jaques’ comments and the language Touchstone uses suggest he is not being ‘honest’ and he really only means to sleep with her.

    'Come, sweet Audrey: / We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.' (Touchstone, 3:3)
    'Well, the gods give us joy!' (Audrey, 3:3)

    Before they get married, Touchstone is keen to scare off William, another of Audrey’s suitors who ‘lays claim’ to her. Touchstone says he will ‘kill’ him unless he goes ‘away’ (5:1), leaving Audrey free to marry Touchstone.

    ' I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble and depart.' (Touchstone, 5:1)

    Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship is strongest in the play in Act 5 Scene 3 when they rejoice that ‘tomorrow is the joyful day’ that they will be married and Audrey admits that she really wants to get married.

    'I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world.' (Audrey, 5:3)

Silvius

  • Silvius - Phoebe

    Silvius’ love for Phoebe is strong from the start and he exclaims to Corin that he wishes Corin ‘knew’st how I do love her’ and ‘rails’ about how strong his love is.

    'Thou hast not loved: / Or if thou hast not broke from company / Abruptly, as my passion now makes me, / Thou hast not loved. / O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!' (Silvius, 2:4)

    Their relationship is not going well when Silvius begs Phoebe to love him instead of ‘scorn’ him, but Phoebe rejects Silvius and implores ‘come not thou near me’ (3:5).

    'Sweet Phoebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phoebe; / Say that you love me not, but say not so / In bitterness.' (Silvius, 3:5)
    'Come not thou near me:' (Phoebe, 3:5)

    Silvius and Phoebe’s relationship is strongest after Phoebe agrees that she will marry Silvius if she does not want Ganymede. After discovering that Ganymede is actually Rosalind she bids ‘adieu’ to her old love and marries the shepherd.

    'I will not eat my word, now thou art mine; / Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.' (Phoebe, 5:4)

Teacher Notes

On this page students can arrange the characters on the screen, showing the connections between the characters and their relationships. They can then print this using the button on the page and label them with their own quotes.

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