Tag Archives: As You Like It

Character Thursday (28) : Rosalind in As You Like It

new-character-thursday-buttonAt Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Rosalind was a daughter of a Duke that had been banished by his own brother (which means Rosalind’s uncle). However, Rosalind stayed at the palace because of the love of her cousin, Celia.

Rosalind began to be attracted by Orlando at their first meeting before the wrestling. She used their fathers’ friendship as a disguise of her love for Orlando.

ROSALIND. The Duke my father lov’d his father dearly.
CELIA. Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son dearly? By this kind of chase I should hate him, for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.
ROSALIND. No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.
(Act I Scene III)

Her intelligence dominated the play, or at least she had a sharp points from what she’d been saying. Maybe, that was one way a shepherdess had fallen to her when she disguised as a man.

Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
‘Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well.
But what care I for words? Yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth- not very pretty;
But, sure, he’s proud; and yet his pride becomes him.
He’ll make a proper man. The best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
(Phebe, Act III Scene V)

However, her feelings for Orlando couldn’t hide the ‘womanhood’ inside her. She became uneasy when Orlando didn’t come at the time he’s promised. Although she still could manage her behaviour in front of Orlando. She behave as a gentleman when she became Ganymede, she tested Orlando’s love, and made him learning how to treat Rosalind.

Rosalind had a fair heart. As she banished by her uncle, she learned how to be tougher. Moreover, she disguised as a man. At the end of the play, it was Rosalind who drive the affairs, so that all became settled as they should be.

More about Character Thursday.

Character Thursday (27) : Orlando in As You Like It

new-character-thursday-buttonIn Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, Orlando was the youngest of three brothers. At the beginning of the play, he complained about his eldest brother–Oliver, that (he felt) treated him unfairly. His brother didn’t bring him to school and didn’t take care of Orlando. Though, Orlando had a strong will to be better. When Oliver sent a wrestler to challenge him, Orlando won the fight. Even his brother hated Orlando, he had admitted that Orlando was indeed a gentleman.

Yet he’s gentle; never school’d and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised. (Oliver, Act I Scene I)

However, Orlando was not so good at love. Or maybe all people might become silly when they’re falling in love. As Orlando wrote love poems–which weren’t so good–and pinned them in the trees at the forest, for his love–Rosalind. Yet, he couldn’t make people sympathized to his love.

There is none of my uncle’s marks upon you; he taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner. (Ganymede, Act II Scene II)

I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horse-stealer; but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as covered goblet or a worm-eaten nut.
( . . . )
O, that’s a brave man! He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose. But all’s brave that youth mounts and folly guides.
(Celia, Act III Scene IV)

However, Orlando had shown that his love was real. Moreover, he had stolen Rosalind’s heart from the beginning, because of his gentleness and bravery.

But what talk we of fathers when there is such a man as Orlando? (Rosalind, Act III Scene IV)

You can share your thought about the characters in your readings see the details here.

As You Like It – William Shakespeare

as you like itReview in Bahasa Indonesia and English

Judul buku : As You Like It
Penulis : William Shakespeare (1601)
Penerbit : Project Gutenberg, Ebook #1121, Desember 1997
Tebal buku : 248 halaman

All the world’s a stage,     
And all the men and women merely players;     
They have their exits and their entrances;     
And one man in his time plays many parts,
(Jaques, Act II Scene VII)

Orlando–putra termuda dari Sir Rowland de Boys, merasa tak puas dengan perlakuan kakak tertuanya—Oliver, kepadanya. Dia merasa Oliver tidak memberikan hak atas harta yang diwariskan oleh ayahnya. Orlando merasa tidak mendapatkan pendidikan dan kesejahteraan yang layak sebagaimana kakak keduanya. Hal ini menyebabkan keduanya berselisih.

Sementara itu, Oliver mendapatkan berita bahwa Duke yang lama telah disingkirkan dan diasingkan ke hutan oleh adiknya sendiri, Frederick. Oliver pun menjanjikan hadiah bagi pegulat Duke yang akan bertanding dengan Orlando, jika berhasil mengalahkannya. Namun, saat hari itu tiba, ternyata Orlando lah yang jatuh sebagai pemenangnya. Menyadari maksud jahat kakaknya, Orlando bersama dengan pelayan setianya—Adam, melarikan diri ke hutan.

Di kediaman Duke Frederick, atas kemurahan hatinya dan demi putrinya—Celia, Duke yang baru membiarkan keponakannya, yaitu putri dari Duke yang lama—Rosalind, tinggal bersama Celia. Saat itu keduanya melihat bagaimana Orlando mengalahkan pegulat Duke. Mengetahui bahwa Orlando adalah putra dari Sir Rowland yang merupakan sahabat baik ayahnya, Rosalind memberikan kalungnya, untuk keberuntungan. Tampaknya keberpihakan itu menyebabkan Duke Frederick tidak berkenan sehingga mengusirnya dari kediamannya. Celia yang sangat menyayangi Rosalind pun memutuskan untuk melarikan diri bersama. Keduanya menyamar, Rosalind berdandan seperti pria dan menamakan dirinya Ganymede, sedangkan Celia memakai pakaian biasa dan mengubah namanya menjadi Aliena.

Now go we in content
To liberty, and not to banishment.
(Celia, Act I Scene III)

Ternyata Orlando tak bisa membendung kerinduannya pada sosok putri Duke yang terasing itu. Di dalam hutan, dia menuliskan puisi-puisi cinta dan menempelkannya di pepohonan di hutan. Rosalind yang melihat namanya disebutkan berkali-kali pada puisi-puisi tersebut baru menyadari bahwa pelakunya adalah Orlando setelah diberi tahu oleh Celia. Saat bertemu dengan Orlando yang gundah, Rosalind yang berperan sebagai Ganymede menjanjikan untuk membuat Rosalind membalas cinta Orlando. Syaratnya, Orlando harus memanggil Ganymede sebagai Rosalind, dan memperlakukannya sebagaimana dia memperlakukan Rosalind.

We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly. (Touchstone, Act II Scene IV)

Sementara itu, di hutan juga ada pecinta lain yang sedang gundah. Silvius yang telah mantap untuk meminang Phebe dan yakin telah mendapatkan cintanya, menyadari bahwa Phebe tertarik pada Ganymede. Di tengah kegundahan para pecinta itu, Ganymede memerintahkan mereka semua berkumpul keesokan harinya. Besok akan ada pernikahan antara Celia dan Oliver. Ya, Oliver yang bermaksud menjemput Orlando untuk berdamai dengan adiknya, tanpa sengaja bertemu dengan Aliena dan jatuh cinta. Ganymede berkata bahwa jika mereka semua hadir, maka dia memastikan bahwa Orlando akan menikahi Rosalind. Kemudian jika besok setelah Ganymede membuka jati dirinya dan Phebe tidak menginginkannya lagi, maka dia harus menikah dengan Silvius.

Sebagaimana drama Shakespeare pada umumnya, kisah ini agak rumit jika diceritakan. Selain kisah utama dan karakter-karakter yang telah saya sebutkan, ada pula karakter pendukung lain dengan dialog-dialog konyol yang mewarnai komedi yang satu ini. Perdebatan, sindiran, serta potret mengenai paradoks dari sebuah kebodohan juga berulang kali disampaikan.

The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly. (Touchstone, Act I Scene II)

‘The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.’ (Touchstone, Act V Scene I)

A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men’s; then to have seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes and poor hands. (Rosalind, Act IV Scene I)

I really enjoy reading this Shakespeare’s comedy. Although it didn’t make me laugh, I often smile at some parts of the play. I see that Shakespeare portrayed lovers as silly person. Indeed, when we’re falling in love—as Touchstone said—we act strangely. At some parts, we could see a fool give us wise words.

With those disguising things, it seems the play want to told that we can’t judge people by his/her physical appearance. Just like Phebe that became interested in Ganymede, she was blinded from Silvius true love. Until Phebe found out that Ganymede was a woman, then her eyes opened and her heart awakened to back to her real lover.

4/5 for this lovers comedy, and let’s sing together:

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
In the spring time, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower,
In the spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crowned with the prime,
In the spring time, &c.
(Act V Scene III)

Review #2 of Let’s Read Plays

See this play’s meme about costume here.

Weekend Quote (7)

If it be true that good wine needs no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no epilogue.
Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues.

I found this quote at the epilogue of As You Like It by William Shakespeare. I do agree with this. Many writers waste their words on epilogue, kill their reader’s imaginations, or tell some useless facts. But good writers would know what is necessary to be told on epilogue. They may add another surprise, contemplation, or a simple fact but important to be told.

Weekend Quote is hosted by Half-Filled Attic. Feel free to join. You can:

  • Give the context of the quote
  • Give your opinion whether you agree or disagree with it
  • Share your experience related to the quote
  • Share similar quotes you remember
  • Or anything else. Just have fun with the quote.

LRP December Meme : Costume

Every month of our Let’s Read Plays’ (LRP) reading, we’ll have a meme hosted by Listra. And this month’s meme is about costume.

For December, LRP theme is Shakespeare’s comedy. I read As You Like It. For this post, I will focus on the disguise of two women in the play, Rosalind and Celia. Rosalind was disguised as a man named Ganymede, and Celia as Aliena (which means stranger in Greek).

Rosalind and Celia. Painting by Hugh Thomson, 1909, from Shakespeare Illustrated. Public domain.

Rosalind and Celia. Painting by Hugh Thomson, 1909, from Shakespeare Illustrated. Public domain.

Here is the scene from the wrestle. Rosalind and Celia watched Orlando defeated Charles, the delegation of his brother, Oliver.


Scene from As You Like It. Painting by Francis Hayman, circa 1750. Public domain.

Scene from As You Like It. Painting by Francis Hayman, circa 1750. Public domain.

I like the second costumes, the first one was too simple I think. For they were the daughter and the niece of the Duke, they should have dressed properly.


Illustration by Émile Bayard (1837-1891). “Rosalind gives Orlando a chain.”

And these are the pictures of them in disguise.


Rosalind. Painting by Robert Walker Macbeth, 1888, from Shakespeare Illustrated. Public domain.

Rosalind, played by Helena Modjeska, 1893. Unknown photographer. Public domain.

Rosalind, played by Helena Modjeska, 1893. Unknown photographer. Public domain.

Both pictures above look similar. It could hide the fair and gentle Rosalind to be a youth from the forest, Ganymede.

"The Mock Marriage of Orlando and Rosalind." Painting by Walter Howell Deverell, 1853. Public domain.

“The Mock Marriage of Orlando and Rosalind.” Painting by Walter Howell Deverell, 1853. Public domain.

Celia (as Aliena) in the middle looks simpler. Rosalind (as Ganymede) in the right, her posture perfectly misleaded Orlando.