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What is an example of Rosalind's healthy humor in Shakespeare's As You Like It?

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user5537654 | Student, Kindergarten | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 29, 2013 at 3:28 AM via web

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What is an example of Rosalind's healthy humor in Shakespeare's As You Like It?

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tamarakh | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:52 AM (Answer #1)

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One way in which Rosalind's humor is healthy is with respect to the fact that she often uses humor to make the most of a bad situation. We see one example of this type of humor in the very first scene in which we meet her. In Act 1, Scene 2, Celia opens the scene begging Rosalind to be merry, despite the fact that Rosalind feels blue and distressed because her uncle, Celia's father, has usurped Rosalind's own father and banished him from the dukedom. However, Celia uses her love for Rosalind to convince her to be more merry, even promising to return the dukedom to Rosalind upon Celia's father's death. As a result, Rosalind makes a gay witticism, promising to be more merry and think of ways to amuse them, as we see in her lines:

From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports.
Let me see; what think you of falling in love? (I.ii.24-25)

These lines are particularly amusing because they are ironic and through their irony foreshadow upcoming events in the play. They are ironic because Rosalind is making a jest or game out of the idea of falling in love and little does she know that she is about to fall in love herself. The lines even foreshadow upcoming events because, once she does fall in love with Orlando, she certainly does make a game out of being in love with him in order to test his sincerity. But more importantly, her willingness to make a lighthearted witticism in the face of tragedy shows us just how healthy Rosalind's humor is and just how much she uses her healthy humor to her advantage.

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