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What are positve and negative effects of disguise in As You Like It?I have to write on...

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rmadrid07 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM via web

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What are positve and negative effects of disguise in As You Like It?

I have to write on the positive and negative effects Of using disguise and what one can do with a disguise that he/she cannot in real appearance.

Please use examples from As You Like It and real life situations.

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

Posted August 25, 2012 at 3:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Disguise in this play, as it is in so many of Shakespeare's comedies, brings with it distinct possibilities and shortcomings that are essential to making the play a comedy. One very practical benefit of donning a disguise is for safety. This is what Rosalind does after all in order to ensure the safety of herself and Celia when they decide to escape into the Forest of Arden:

Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will,

We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,

As many other mannish cowards have

That do outface it with their semblances.

However, as the play goes on to demonstrate, and particularly through the relationship between Rosalind and Orlando, what is so good about donning a disguise is that it allows Rosalind to find out more about the kind of person he is and to almost train him and prepare him for marriage. 

A major negative is of course when the disguise assumes its own reality that becomes stronger than the original identity of the person themselves. This is of course part of the comedy of the situation as we watch characters whose disguise is believed so implicitly by those around them that they are unable to assume their original and real identity. 


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