The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0037 Monday, 8 January 2001
Date: Friday, 05 Jan 2001 12:51:18 -0500
My friend Bill Liston (Hi, Bill!) is certainly right to point to 3.2 as
a series of "wit combats" in which Orlando more than holds his own. I
don't think there's any question but that Orlando has a good head on his
shoulders. The real issue, however, is Rosalind and Orlando as a
couple. For Rosalind bestrides her play in much the same way that
Hamlet dominates his: that is, in both cases the lead character is
intellectually head and shoulders above everyone else!
I think that Rosalind initially falls in love with Orlando because he
has a great body. Later, as Bill says, she recognizes that he has a
mind as well. But what really ices the match is that Orlando has a good
heart. He is good natured and possessed of generous and free and open
thoughts and actions. That's the bottom line: and that is also what
helps make any marriage work.
But Rosalind has more brains, don't you think? So Shakespeare affirms,
doesn't he, that the potential for a good marriage can exist even if the
woman is smarter than the man?
What do we have here: Shakespeare the feminist? Maybe.