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, after 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 is self aware and doesn't appear to have a high opinion of women. 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)
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.
'the people praise her for her virtues / And pity her for her good father’s sake' (Le Beau, 1:3)
Rosalind is well liked and people are sympathetic towards her because of her father.
'thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs' (Celia, 1:3)
Rosalind is good with words and Celia values her advice.