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?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

Read the study guide:
As You Like It

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question