What is the importance of the Wrestling match in the play?

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sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The wrestling match in As You Like It is important for several reasons.  For one thing, and most importantly, it introduces Rosalind to Orlando for the first time. They fall in love at first sight, but they cannot really communicate with each other until later in the play when Rosalind is disguised as the boy Ganymede.

Another reason that the wrestling match is important is that it shows Orlando's strength, both physical strength and strength of character, as he wins the match against a skilled opponent. It sets him up as someone who is worthy of Rosalind on several levels, not only social class, in that he is her equal, but that he is a good match for her in other ways. Her wit plays into his loyalty and goodness in a way that suits them, as one can see by their later banter in the forest setting.  It also demonstrates his loyalty to Rosalind's father, the rightful Duke, who later gest deposed and banished by his brother.  Orlando and his own brother have the same kind of issues as Senior and Frederick, so the scene also sets up Orlando as a winner and as a foil for the good Duke, who also, inevitably comes out on top at the end of the play.

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As You Like It

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