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How is Rosalind's behavior an act of revolutionary defiance in front of Duke Frederick...

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darija | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 20, 2009 at 10:02 PM via web

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How is Rosalind's behavior an act of revolutionary defiance in front of Duke Frederick in Act I, Scene III of As You Like It?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 3, 2010 at 6:54 AM (Answer #1)

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Rosalind's behavior in Shakespeare's As You Like It can be viewed as revolutionary defiance to Duke Frederick because of two reasons. The first is that her action of escaping Duke Frederick's court in company with his daughter Celia is an act of defiance (bold resistance to authority) against his authority, for both Rosalind and Celia, as his authority was absolute within his dukedom. Not only did Rosalind escape to safety, she defiantly permitted his equally defiant daughter and Touchstone to accompany her.

Rosalind's defiance can be thought of as revolutionary because, while it was not at all common for young women to leave the home of the parent or guardian overseeing them--unless ordered out as Duke Frederick ordered Rosalind--travel alone for women was extremely dangerous. In addition, it was very rare for a woman to dress as a man to gain some safety in solitary journeys as Rosalind did, to protect herself and Celia, because there were strict rules about women's and men's clothing.

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