Character sketch of Celia with reference to her love for Rosalind  

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rosalind is the most interesting character in As You Like It, but her good friend Celia seems to have only a minor role. Celia's father is correct in saying that Rosalind outshines and overshadows her, but Celia seems devoted to Rosalind and doesn't mind this a bit. Celia is a rather colorless, dependent person. She follows Rosalind wherever she wants to go and does whatever she wants to do. It is appropriate that it is Rosalind who dons a masculine disguise, because it would not suit Celia at all. Both roles, of course, were played by young males, but it seems likely that Celia was played by a younger boy than was Rosalind. Celia's role is far less demanding. Actually, it is hard to account for the fact that Shakespeare invented the character of Celia. She serves mainly for someone for Rosalind to talk to for dramatic purposes and also to give Celia's father a reason to banish Rosalind and then to have the two fugitives pursued, since he hadn't expected Celia to leave too. She also probably serves as a reason for Rosalind being allowed to remain at Duke Frederick's court after her father was usurped and banished. Since Shakepeare wanted to end his play with multiple marriages, Celia serves as a good marital partner for Oliver because of her high social status.