Describe the love between Rosalind and Orlando in As You Like It?

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sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, Rosalind and Orlando are not "it." They are human characters in Shakespeare's play As You Like It. In Act I, they meet when Orlando is in a wrestling match against a much bigger opponent and wins. Rosalind is infatuated and speaks to him. He is struck with love at first sight as well. Then Rosalind is banished to the Forest of Arden along with her father. Instead of joining the Duke, she dresses as a boy, and, along with her cousin and the fool Touchstone, goes into the forest and lives at a shepherd's home.  Orlando and Rosalind meet under such strange circumstances that their relationship could not really be called love, but more a serious infatuation. She engages him in conversation while she is dressed as the boy Ganymede, telling Orlando how he ought to court Rosalind and offering to pretend to be her. It is never stated outright that he knows who she is, but there are hints that he does and is playing along. Their love, though it may develop and mature, is puppy love; they are not serious. They are playing and getting to know each other. It is difficult to say if this kind of love will last after they are back in the real world, but, as in Shakespeare comedies, they marry at the end of the play.

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As You Like It

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