As You Like It

Rosalind and the Embodiment of Shakespearian Themes College

In the many plays of William Shakespeare there are certain themes woven within the plotlines that are consistently considered, ruminated upon, and revisited. These highly debated subjects focus on the nature of humans and must have been issues that Shakespeare thought extensively about, as they creep into virtually every one of his works. In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the topics of wit, love, and gender identity are deeply explored by the play’s many characters. From the fool Touchstone’s endless repartee, to the many characters navigating the joys and throes of love, to the gender bending exercises that occur throughout, this comedy is rife with the typical Shakespearian issues that have occupied humanity for ages. Amongst the many who participate in the theatrical studies of these ideas, there is one character in particular who wholly embodies the play’s central themes. Through her experiences during the play, Rosalind, cross-dresser in extenuating circumstances and daughter to the usurped Duke Senior, embodies a unique section of the spectrum of possibilities inherent in wit, love, and gender identity.

Rosalind is one of the play’s most prominent sources of wit. She employs her shrewd language and mind for fun and as a...

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