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How are Celia's and Rosalind's love for each other described in Celia's statement,...

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spirit-goblet | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM via web

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How are Celia's and Rosalind's love for each other described in Celia's statement, "[L]ike Juno's swans, still we went coupled and inseparable," found in Act 1, Scene 3 of Shakespeare's As You Like It?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 27, 2013 at 3:40 AM (Answer #2)

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Celia's statement in Act 1, Scene 3 describing that she and Rosalind, "wheresoever [they] went, like Juno's swans, / Still [they] went coupled and inseparable" is an interesting symbol and mixed allusion. Swans are a recognized symbol of love and faithfulness because swan couples have a tendency to entwine their necks in such a way as to form a heart. Due to this truth, swans became a classic symbol of love in mythology; however, swans were actually a symbol belonging to the Roman goddess Venus, the goddess of love, not the goddess Juno (Shakespeare Navigators, Note 75). The goddess Juno was known as a political goddess, a protector and an adviser to the state. Celia's choice to speak of Juno makes a very interesting point considering the fact that her father is proclaiming Rosalind's exile at the moment Celia says these lines. Hence, Celia's choice to mix her allusion by referring to the symbol of swans while also associating them with Juno rather than Venus shows her intention of subtly questioning her father's political decisions while also reminding him of her devoted love for Rosalind.

The symbol of swans with their necks entwined certainly does perfectly portray Celia and Rosalind's relationship. As Celia further asserts, at her father's own choosing, Rosalind remained with them at court, and they became inseparable, even sleeping, waking, learning, playing, and eating together. Celia even chooses to remain with Rosalind by joining her in exile, as we see in Celia's lines addressed to her father:

Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege:
I cannot live out of her company. (I.iii.85-86)

Even in the Forest of Arden, Celia remains constantly by Rosalind's side, even accompanying Rosalind to play her tricks on Orlando by pretending to be Ganymede. Hence, Celia's resolution to even join Rosalind in exile plus the fact that she remains by Rosalind's side throughout the play certainly shows just how inseparable they are, just like the symbol of a swan couple.


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saumh | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 29, 2012 at 5:19 PM (Answer #1)

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In Roman mythology, Juno is considered the goddess of love and marriage. Swans drew her chariot, which are traditionally believed to mate for life. Hence, Juno's swans here have been treated as a symbol of love and loyalty; both these qualities have been displayed by Rosalind and Celia throughout the play. Their bond, said to be closer than that between sisters, is so strong that even the tyrannical duke Frederick, while banishing his brother, chooses to keep Rosalind at court, solely for Celia's sake. Also, Celia's loyalty and sense of oneness with Rosalind is displayed when she asserts "if she be a traitor/ Why so am I", and when she decides to accompany Rosalind to the forest of Arden, when she(Rosalind) is banished by the duke. Throghout the play, Rosalind and Celia are seen together, whether in the forest or the court. Hence, they are truly inseparable, and can be compared to Juno's swans for their love and devotion to each other. I suggest you visit sparknotes too, btw.

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