Investigate this character
How has Rosalind’s disguise as Ganymede been represented and staged?
Rosalind and Celia hatch their plan to dress up and escape together into the forest during Act 1. Rosalind seems to begin the scene with uncertainty, facing exile or death at the hands of her uncle, but with Celia’s help finds she is able to create a plan. Among the decisions they make together is the one to dress Rosalind as a man and for Celia to dirty her face and disguise her appearance as well. Together, they take ownership of their new identities – giving themselves the names Ganymede and Aliena.
Take a look at the Things to Consider and investigate the different ways that productions have presented Rosalind’s disguise as the young man Ganymede in the picture gallery below.
Afterwards, watch the videos below of Act 3 Scene 2 from 2011 and 2013, and see how they present Ganymede. Looking at the different ways that directors and actors have approached a scene can help us to think about the choices that can be made about characters, settings and tone.
As you look through the images and videos from past productions of As You Like It, think about:
- How the different interpretations of Ganymede come across and how have they changed over time. How important is it that Rosalind’s disguise be believable? Is she recognisable and does her motivation for disguising herself come across?
- What has the designer done to make Rosalind's disguise masculine, but retain her identity? In the text Rosalind and Celia refer to 'arming' themselves as they go into the forest of Arden in order to protect themselves, and you can see this in the leather clothes Ganymede wears in the 2019 production. How else does this mentality come across in the different productions?
- From the videos, what do you notice about the voice, movement and body language of Ganymede in the two productions? What choices would you make for this character, if you were directing?