In Shakespeare's As You Like It Act I scene iii, how does Celia respond to the difficulties in life?
In Shakespeare's play, As You Like It, Celia approaches life's difficulties much the way a warrior approaches his enemy: she meets them head on, with the intent that these problems will not get the best of her. We can easily assume that there are two reasons for this attitude: first, Celia may naturally be prone to standing up to the world; second, we should not overlook the fact that Celia's father is a very powerful man, and she has little to fear in life. On the other hand, Rosalind's father has been banished (by his own brother, Duke Frederick, who has usurped Duke Senior's position), and Rosalind's security rests in the capricious hands of Duke Frederick, who we learn is an evil man who has only kept his niece, Rosalind, in his house because of his daughter's attachment to her cousin.
We have already seen in Act One, scene two, that Rosalind is well-aware of her position when she gives her necklace to Orlando. She has little in the way of worldly goods, but shares what she has with him, leaving him speechless. Again, at the beginning of scene three, the conversation between Celia and Rosalind addresses Rosalind's worries over her father's banishment. Rosalind is not sure how to brush aside the calamity that the world delivers (described as thorny "briers" and "burs"). Celia declares that when we "take the road less traveled," we are bound to confront difficulties.
They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday
foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very
petticoats will catch them. (lines 10-12)
We learn, also, that part of Rosalind's growing devotion to Orlando is born of her father's devotion to Orlando's deceased father (Sir Rowland de Boys—who Frederick hated), who Rosalind's father held in high esteem. Rosalind's character is gentler than Celia's…Celia is truly a fighter.
By the end of this scene, we witness Duke Frederick's casual change in attitude when he banishes Rosalind from his land, claiming that she is a traitor—with threat of death if she is found defying his decision. Now, however, we see how truly committed Celia is—not just in word, but also in deed: she stands up to her father and announces that if Rosalind is banished, Celia will leave as well.
Pronounce that sentence, then, on me, my liege:
I cannot live out of her company. (79-80)