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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
Re: Rosalind and Celia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0197  Tuesday, 30 January 2001

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Jan 2001 09:26:31 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

[2]     From:   Arthur D L Lindley <
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        Date:   Sat, 27 Jan 2001 09:23:18 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

[3]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Jan 2001 10:50:53 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 Jan 2001 18:27:19 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0192 Re: Rosalind and Celia

[5]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 2001 14:12:20 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Jan 2001 09:26:31 -0600
Subject: 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

Marwick's Rosalind comments about Celia: "I know of no woman, were she
not in love, who would be so willing to sacrifice everything - from
birthright to bonk - for another woman.  My take is that she would have
to be in love either with the other woman, or with someone else, the
latter relationship rendering everything associated with the former
unimportant.  Odd."

Not many people of either gender or any orientation would give up
everything for someone else unless they were in love -- or unless they
had some other good reason, such as wanting very much to get the heck
out themselves.

I think Celia's motivation will become clearer as the actor playing Duke
Frederick exercises his talent in portraying an overbearing, obnoxious
pig.  Allying herself with her cousin in exile not only gets her out
from under such a despicable father, but allows her to escape the
embarrassment of benefiting by her father's viciousness and criminality.
Friendship, escape, expiation and adventure -- I would say these
provided plenty of motivation for Celia.

If Celia's embarrassment at the beginning of 1.2 is played up, and the
Frederick-as-Bleep theme is made clear in his response to learning
Orlando's father's name, and then (especially) in the banishment of
Rosalind (2.1), then I think her immediate proposal to accompany her
beloved cousin will make perfect sense to the audience (more sense, in
fact, than a lot of things that happen in the comedies).

Wish I could get there to see it (I do love that play).

Good luck.

Don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur D L Lindley <
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Date:           Sat, 27 Jan 2001 09:23:18 +0800
Subject: 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

I think your actress, John, is assuming that sex is an overriding
passion and that friendship and kinship are not.  That's an
understandable assumption, perhaps, but not one she should assume every
culture and period shares.  Of course you can queer the relationship if
you like, but it is not really necessary.

Arthur Lindley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Jan 2001 10:50:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0179 Rosalind and Celia

To John Marwick:

To return to your original question:

Although this is not something that I have noticed myself, students have
noticed in the BBC *As You Like It* that Orlando recognizes Rosalind
beneath her Ganymede disguise, particularly in their *tete-a-tetes* in
the Forest of Arden.

Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 Jan 2001 18:27:19 +0000
Subject: 12.0192 Re: Rosalind and Celia
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0192 Re: Rosalind and Celia

>*AYL* is not
>a direct imitation of early modern English life and experience, either.
>It is one of a long series of dramatic and nondramatic texts of a kind
>scholars call romances, one of whose primary characteristics is their
>striking freedom from the normal ideas of probability.  In actual human
>life well-bred girls do not often run away from home and expose
>themselves to all the dangers of the wider world.  In romance, however,
>they do it all the time,

Hear, hear. All too often the fact that Shakespeare's comedies are
securely rooted in the conventions of Greek romance is forgotten. These
works, most dating from the second century, are the first novels and, in
translation, were the most common escape literature for educated boys of
Shakespeare's time (along with the various tales of chivalry). A number
of Shakespeare invariables, including this kind of passionate friendship
between two members of the same sex, one that must survive all manner of
tests, were constants in these works, which, by the way, remain far more
entertaining than most juvenile literature of today.

It is also true that the nature of 16th century life added to the desire
for the kind of passionate bond that connected Rosalind and Celia (and
Helena and Hermia). In a world beset by bloody political revolutions, an
immensely high death rate, rampant disease, no police, and few legal or
governmental protections from unkind fortune, relationships were a kind
of raft in a sea of uncertainty. Not only girls but powerful men
depended upon the emotional bonds of friendship

 

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