Compare and contrast the characters of Rosalind and Celia

Mir Hassan

 Compare and contrast  the characters of Rosalind and Celia

Compare and contrast  the characters of Rosalind and Celia

Compare Rosalind and Celia Shakespeare’s As You like It |Comparison between Celia and Rosalind| Describe the relationship of Rosalind and Celia in As You It |Characterization of Rosalinda and Celia from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. How would you compare the character of Rosalind and Celia? |What is the relationship between Celia and Rosalind?|

 Are you an English Literature student and looking for the answer based on William Shakespeare‘s ‘As You Like It’ and you are on the website. is an educational website where questions with answers frequently post on all genres of English literature so that the students can be benefited. is The ultimate website for English Literature students, with top notes, study materials, and PDFs eBooks, of British, American, Partition, Post-Colonial, classical literature, and Indian Writing in English. We offer summaries, character analysis, explanations .title, symbols, and imagery of the poem, novel, drama, and short stories. , linguistic, and literary criticism,  The site also offers exam suggestions, notes for B.A., and M.A. exams, and MCQ quizzes for NET/SLET.

        In this post, the students will get the answer of ‘Compare and contrast characters of Rosalind and Celia’ as well as the character analysis of Celia and character analysis of Rosalind’. Hope this post would be very useful. Thank You for vesting our website. For any questions or queries, the students can contact us through e-mails and WhatsApp.

Compare and contrast  the characters of Rosalind and Celia

Shakespeare‘s As You Like It is based on a work entitled Rosalynde written by Thomas Lodge. C.L. Barber says that ‘As You Like It’ is one of the sweetest and sunniest comedies of Shakespeare. Charlton observes that it is satirical and realistic, while other critics have said that it is a pastoral comedy. According to Nicoll, “A comedy ends on a note of tinkling of marital bliss.  A  Shakespearean comedy is different from classical comedy in which society is justified and the individual is held up to ridicule so that he may conform to the social standards.

 The play ‘As You Like It’ is a romantic comedy set in the Forest of Arden. The play follows the story of Rosalind, daughter of the exiled Duke Senior, and Celia, daughter of the usurping Duke Frederick. Despite the fact that Rosalind and Celia come from different backgrounds and have different personalities, they are devoted to each other and their friendship is the central element of the play. 

Rosalind and Celia are two very different characters. Rosalind is the daughter of the exiled Duke Senior and is seen as the more intelligent, clever, and independent of the two. Celia, on the other hand, is more passive and obedient and is content to follow Rosalind’s lead. Despite their differences, however, the two are devoted to each other and their friendship is the strongest bond in the play. Their love has become than the natural bond of sister".a proverb at court. Lea Beau describes their love as "dearer than the natural bond of sister.

      Rosalind possesses budding youth, dazzling beauty charm grace of speech and movement, brilliant wit, romantic disposition, and underlying all this, a pure soul, incapable of being destined to be heiress of all that wealth, power, and position that envy, hatred, malice. She bears no malice against Celia who is I would have been hers by right of birth. Celia, on the other hand, is not so fair or gifted as Rosalind and has an unromantic, matter-of-fact disposition, but we have in her, too, a pure soul incapable of any ill-feeling against a cousin who always throws her into the shade at court and is loved and praised by all for her many gifts and graces. The attempt to excite in her mind jealousy of her livelier friend fails to awaken in the generous heart of Celia any other feeling than an increased tenderness and sympathy for her cousin To Celia Shakespeare has given that exquisite description of the friendship between her and Rosalind.

"If she is a traitor,

Why, so am I: we have still slept together,

Rose at an instant, learn'd played eat together,

And wheresoe'er we went like Juno's swans

 Still we were coupled and inseparable".

  When Rosalind is banished, Celia becomes a voluntary exile. A more touching devotion cannot be imagined. The feeling of interest and admiration thus excited Celia at the first, follows her through the whole play. We listen to her as to one who has made herself worthy of our love, and her silence presses more than eloquence.

 Celia is quieter and retired: but she rather yields to Rosalind than is eclipsed by her She is as full of sweetness, kindness. and intelligence, quite as susceptible, and almost as witty, though she makes less display of wit. At court where Rosalind's "ride fell with her fortunes" Celia takes the lead and seems to possess the more active mind. 

  In the forest, Rosalind assumes the leading place whilst Celia plays a secondary part. The surface difference between the characters of the two, ever one in the essential trait of mutual affection comes out when the flight is being planned the romantic Rosalind is quite helpless on the question of where to go, but when the practical Celia settles it in a moment, "to seek my uncle in the forest of Arden, Rosalind has much to say about her disguise. It is the practical-minded Celia who proposes to take jewels and Touchstone with them. The same difference is brought out when they have entered the forest all three dead beat. Celia cries she is tired, she is hungry, and asks them to buy her food all in plain prosaic terms: Rosalind rattles away at the contrast between her real feelings and her assumed character, is herself ready to cry like a woman, but like a man that "he" is, cheers up the fainting sister." While Celia thinks only of food, Rosalind is reminded of her despairing love at hearing Silvius mourn over his. When Celia hints that she has discovered Orlando in the forest, the woman shows itself in Rosalind in her devouring curiosity to know everything about it; and the woman shows itself in Celia in her love of teasing to which she not in love subjects one in love. Both fall in love at first sight.Rosalind's love is hopeless almost from the moment of its birth, but Celia's love as soon as born makes sure by arranging for a marriage on the very next day. 

Character analysis Rosalind

Rosalind is the heroine of ‘As You Like It’. She is not the heroine in the material and formal sense that she has of the scenes of the play she is the heroine in the sense that she provides the efficient force which resolves the dilemma of the play into happiness. That happiness is palpably a state affair which, in so far as it springs from human effort, is especially an outcome of her making. Because she is a woman, Rosalind has attributes of personality fitting her more certainly than men to shape the world towards happiness.


    Shakespeare's heroes lack the balance of a durable spiritual organism. It is in women that Shakespeare finds the balance which makes personality in action a sort of ordered interplay of the major component of human nature. In Rosalind, the hand and heart, and brain are fused in the vital and practicable union, each contributing to the other. Women are more sensitive to intuition and more responsive to emotion and hence Shakespeare promoted them to dominion in the realm of comedy. Shakespeare's heroines have all the gift of inspiring and returning affection. They also serve as standards whereby degrees of worth and worthlessness in other characters are made manifest. They are generous, guiltless, and of a free disposition and as such have the art of securing happiness not only for themselves but for others also.


"We are introduced to Rosalind as a poor bird with a drooping wing: her father is banished, she is bereft of her birthright, and is living on sufferance as a companion to the usurper's daughter being indeed half a prisoner in the palace, where till lately, she reigned as a princess. It is not until she has donned the doublet and hose, appears in the likeness of a page, and wanders at her own sweet will in the open air and the greenwood, that she recovers her radiant humour, and roguish merriment flows her lips like the trilling of a bird." (Brandes)


     The most prominent feature of Rosalind's character is her sparkling wit. She effervesces with animal spirits, and her mind thinks as rapidly as her heart feels. She skips from one subject to another with infective exuberance. Truly "You shall never take her without her answer unless you take her without her tongue."

     In every answer, she discovers gunpowder anew, and she knows how to use it to boot. She has a fitting reply always ready for everyone, the Duke, the melancholy Jaques, Silvius, Phebe, and Touchstone. And there is always a bright and merry fantasy in her answers. It is marvelous how thoroughly feminine is her wit. Too many of the witty women in books written by men have a man's intelligence. Although in the forest she wears "the trappings and the suits" of manhood, she continually reminds us that she does not carry "doublet and hose" in her heart. Indeed Rosalind is a woman with all the tenderness and sensibility that belongs to her sex.


 She has as much tenderness as mirth, and in her most petulant raillery there is a touch of softness "By this hand, it will not hurt a fly-As her vivacity, never lessens our impression of her sensibility, so she wears her masculine attire without the slightest impugment of her delicacy".

     The story of the old man and his three sons evokes her instant sympathy and she is eager to save the youthful challenger from a similar fate. After the wrestling, she yields a natural impulse of admiration. A hint as to the identity of the youth who the young plants with his foolish carving excite a "most petitionary vehemence" of entreaty: She must know who it is! She cannot brook "one inch of delay more On hearing of Orlando's presence, she discharges at Celia a number of questions and comments: "Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak". She weeps when Orlando is late at his tryst. When Celia blames the laggard lover, she defends him; but when Celia praises him, she discerns faults in him.

       In all her scenes with Orlando tenderness and feeling ever go hand in hand with playfulness. But when she hears of Orlando's loss of blood she fainted away. She speedily recovers her self-possession, and with a woman's presence of mind, saves the situation. Indeed, she lives on her love for Orlando.


Yet Rosalind is spirited. When the usurping duke banishes her saying that he is a traitor, Rosalind remonstrates with dignity and asserts not only her own innocence but that of her father also. Underneath her lightness of heart and apparent recklessness here lies a fund of sound common sense. She has no patience with the melancholy of Jaques and cuts short his "I had rather self-appreciation with unflattering comments: have the fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad; sad to travel for it too:" Though herself deeply in love, she can utter the maxims of common sense on love:


"Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten theme, but for love, Men are April when they woo, December mentally. Only to Celia does she disclose all tenderness and love. She does not surrender to Orlando until she has thoroughly tested his love.


Rosalind may be inferior to Portia in intellect, to Imogen in point of innocence, or to Isabella in point of saintliness, but she is superior to them all in the combined beauty of her character in the mixture of playfulness, sensibility, and naiveté



 Character analysis Celia

Celia appears well worried of a place besides Rosalind whose love she shares and repays."Instinct with the soul of moral beauty and female tenderness, the friendship of these more than sisters mounts to the seats of grace within the mind."


"Celia is more quiet and retired, but she rarer yields to Rosalind than is eclipsed by her. She is as full of sweetness, kindness, and intelligence, quite as susceptible, and almost as witty, though she makes less display of wit.' She is described as less fair and less gifted, yet the attempt to excite in her mind jealousy of Rosalind fails to awaken in the generous heart of Celia any other feeling than an interested tenderness and sympathy for her cousin.


Celia shrinks from all display and all prominence of the situation so that the gifts of her more brilliant sister might appear to advantage. She serves as a foil to Rosalind, not by reason of her own obscurity, but owing to her love of Rosalind for whom she sacrifices her individuality. When the two cousins are alone, we find that Celia is gifted with no ordinary quickness of intelligence and that she has no lack of stronger characteristics, such as decision, firmness, and endurance. But in the presence of others, she is content to play the part of a spectator. Bound to her cousin by an infinite sympathy, she makes that cousin's wrongs her own. Not for an instant does she hesitate between an unjust father and the object of his injustice. She cannot even understand how Rosalind should suppose hesitation possible. The sacrifice is great, and the risks she runs are great, but he self-sacrifice comes as a thing too ordinary to count as merit.


If under physical stress her less daring spirit carves comfort and support, she in her turn can minister like a relief when touching Celia except through Rosalind: when it is well with Rosa depression and anxiety overwhelm Rosalind.

   Celia is less impulsive and more practical-minded than Rosalind. When the two cousins decide to leave the palace, the romantic Rosalind is quite helpless on the question of where to go. It is Celia who settles in a moment that they will go to the Forest of Arden to seek her uncle. It is Celia again who asks Rosalind what name she is to go by. It is she who suggests provision for the journey.

      Celia is more conventional than Rosalind in her sense of strict decorum: thus she seems to think that Rosalind is a bit too frank towards Orlando after the wrestling and gently cuts short the interview. Celia reproaches Rosalind for the extravagances which her love has led her to commit: 'You have simply misused our sex in your love prate (VI, i). "The reason is that she has less sense of humour than her cousin and, therefore, looks at a situation more from its serious side.

Yet, Celia is not without a tongue. "In a witty speech, she holds her own (and hers is more caustic than Rosalind's) while she has the sheer genius of teasing." When Celia discovers Orlando asleep under a tree in the forest, the woman shows itself in Celia in her love of teasing, such as a woman not in love, loves to subject a woman in love to.

 The real charm of Celia's nature may be inferred from Rosalind's devotion, from her influence over Touchstone who will "go along o'er the wide world" with her, and from her conquest of Oliver who "looks likes and liking loves.

Celia little knows that in affairs of the heart prudence and common sense are ineffectual. She thinks that she can rely upon the power of keeping love at a distance. She marvels at the possibility of "love at first sight" and advises Rosalind to "love no man her in good earnest", when Rosalind proposes to 'go find a shade and sight till he comes. Celia remarks, 'And I'll sleep'. And yet she irony. And with the exquisite irony of unconsciousness, even Orlando asks in Celia's own words "isn't possible?" If the grace of person went far towards kindling in Oliver's breast a love so sudden and so intense, we may feel sure that he also instinctively beheld in her characters a womanly tenderness, grace, and purity of soul, that stirred to its depths all that was noble in his nature and enforced upon him that determination to a worthier life which his brother's chivalrous hazard had already aroused."



Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)