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Explain the following lines delivered by Celia in Act I scene 3 of As You Like It.They...

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rachnagoyal | Student, Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:55 PM via web

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Explain the following lines delivered by Celia in Act I scene 3 of As You Like It.

They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will catch them.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:16 PM (Answer #1)

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Let us remember that in this important scene, Rosalind confesses to Celia that she has fallen in love with Orlando, having seen him in Act I scene 2. She feels immensely overwhelmed by this feeling of love and now appears to be very depressed and melancholy. Celia's quote that you have highlighted is said in response to Rosalind's love sick comment that "full of briers is this working-day world!" Celia sees her role in this scene as trying to cheer her cousin up, thus the response she gives to Rosalind tries to urge her to see these troubles not as "briers" or thorns but just as burrs, little stickly seeds that can be played with and used for diversions. Thus Celia tries to encourage Rosalind not to view her falling in love as thorn bushes that are ready to scratch and wound her, but something to laugh at during festivities. Walking in the untrodden paths of life will result in some of these burrs, or amusements, attaching themselves to the petticoats of the ladies.

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