Discuss manipulation and interpersonal relationships and their importance for the events in As You Like It?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Manipulation is usually thought of as an abnormal psychological ploy to intentionally lead others to do the manipulator's will against their own will, but the definition also includes the idea of management that is artful and skillful. In this sense, Rosalind is the Queen of Manipulation, and therefore will do nicely for an illustrative discussion of manipulation and events in As You Like It. With a little help from Celia's quick witted thinking that allows both girls to manipulate a dangerous situation into a plausible one, Rosalind becomes Ganymede and manipulates the people and situations she encounters in Arden Forest to create events that move the plot, beginning with the acquisition of a cottage and ending with the several weddings that As You Like It ends with, not forgetting her most artful and skillful manipulation of Orlando.

Interpersonal relationships further drive the plot and conflict events. The play is founded on the unfavorable interpersonal relationship between Duke Frederick and Duke Senior and Rosalind. The favorable interpersonal relationship between Celia and Rosalind, along with the unfavorable interpersonal relationship between Charles and Orlando, open the action and present two of the major conflicts. As another illustrative example, in Arden Forest, the interpersonal relationships between the forest residents and the new visitors, like Touchstone, drive events all the way through to the resolution, as illustrated by Phebe's marriage choices.

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As You Like It

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