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Rosalind

As You Like It

Epilogues and Genders

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Rosalind in As You Like It, the arch-feminist of Shakespeare’s plays, is the only female character to deliver an epilogue. But for the final laugh, she steps out of character and, as the boy actor who played her, says, —If I were a woman, would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me–
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Blind Fortune

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In The Merchant of Venice (2.1.23) the Prince of Morocco introduces the theme of blind Fortune, which plays in the fate of Antonio’s merchandise on the seas. It also plays into the question of being born a Christian or a Jew, fair-skinned or dark hued. The theme of fortune is also central to As You Like It (1.2.31),
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Status of Women

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Celia and Rosalind engage in an intellectual discourse on questions that might today be expressed as: “Is it better to be born talented or lucky?”, “Is it our genetic code or our environment that most shapes us?”, “Are women by nature or by misfortune disadvantaged in their status compared with men?” When Celia and Rosalind use the word natural, as in “Nature’s natural”
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Let us sit and mock the good huswife Fortune

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Celia
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune
from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be
bestowed equally.Personification

Rosalind
I would we could do so, for her benefits are
mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman
doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
Celia
‘Tis true,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 31

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Connected Notes:
Status of Women, Blind Fortune

How now, wit, whither wander you?

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Celia
How now, wit, whither wander you?
Touchstone
Mistress, you must come away to your father.

The more pity that fools may not speak
wisely what wise men do foolishly

Celia
Were you made the messenger?
Touchstone
No, by mine honor, but I was bid to come
for you.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 56

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Bonjour, Monsieur Le Beau. What’s the news?

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Celia
Bonjour, Monsieur Le Beau. What’s the news?
La Beau
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Celia
Sport? Of what color?
La Beau
What color, madam? How shall I answer you?
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 96

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Young man, have you challenged Charles

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Rosalind
Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?
Orlando
No, fair princess. He is the general challenger.
I come but in as others do, to try with him the
strength of my youth.
Celia
Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for
your years. You have seen cruel proof of this man’s
strength.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 161

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I am more proud to be Sir Rowland’s son

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Orlando 
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.
Rosalind, to Celia
My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father’s mind.
Had I before known this young man his son,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 228

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Why, cousin! Why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy

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Celia
Why, cousin! Why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy,
not a word?
Rosalind
Not one to throw at a dog.
Celia
No, thy words are too precious to be cast away
upon curs. Throw some of them at me. Come, lame
me with reasons.

O, how full of briers is this working-day world!
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 11

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You, cousin. Within these ten days

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Duke Frederick
You, cousin.
Within these ten days if that thou beest found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.

Thus do all traitors.
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself.

Rosalind
I do beseech your Grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 43

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Prithee, be cheerful

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Celia
Prithee, be cheerful. Know’st thou not the Duke
Hath banished me, his daughter?
Rosalind
That he hath not.

Shall we be sundered? Shall we part, sweet girl?
No, let my father seek another heir.

Celia
No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 98

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Why, whither shall we go?

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Rosalind
Why, whither shall we go?
Celia 
To seek my uncle in the Forest of Arden.

Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

Rosalind
Alas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far?
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
Celia
I’ll put myself in poor and mean attire,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 112

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Alas, poor shepherd, searching of thy wound

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Rosalind
Alas, poor shepherd, searching of thy wound,
I have by hard adventure found mine own.
Touchstone
And I mine. I remember when I was in
love I broke my sword upon a stone and bid him
take that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I
remember the kissing of her batler, and the cow’s
dugs that her pretty chopped hands had milked;
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 4
Line 31

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