At the beginning of act I, scene 2 in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the heroine Rosalind is sulking. The reason for this piteous mood is that her father, Duke Senior, has been banished from court. Rosalind’s uncle, Duke Frederick, usurped the throne from her father. Presently, her father and a group of lords who support him are wandering in the Forest of Ardenne.
Rosalind expresses her grief to her cousin Celia, Duke Frederick’s daughter, when she says, “Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.”
This shows that Rosalind is preoccupied with what has happened to her father, from whom she is now separated. She remarks that she already looks happier than she actually is, and Celia trying to get her to be even happier is an impossible suggestion for Rosalind to oblige.
Celia wants Rosalind to cheer up because, she explains, if their roles were reversed, Celia would find a way to accept the reality of the situation without sulking as Rosalind is. Celia accuses Rosalind of not loving her as much as Celia loves Rosalind.
Rosalind replies sarcastically, saying that she will just forget her grief and focus on how happy Celia is now that her father is ruler. To please Rosalind, Celia insists that she will return Rosalind’s inheritance—which was absorbed when Duke Senior fled—when Duke Frederick dies, since Celia is his only heir.
Rosalind then turns the focus of their conversation to the kinds of games they can play to entertain themselves, like falling in love.