In As You Like It, what is Roslind feeling at the beginning of Act I, Scene III, and why does she feel this way?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act I, Scene III of As You Like It opens with Rosalind feeling very downhearted; she hasn't even a good word to say to Celia, who cries "Cupid have mercy!" Since Celia alludes to the Cupid, the god of love, one might think she believes Rosalind to be lovesick, but her first suggestion as to Rosalind's plight is that she is sad on account of her exiled father: "But is all this for your father?"

Rosalind responds by telling her that she is sad for her father and for "my child's father," meaning the man she hopes to marry, which is the newly met and newly loved Orlando, the victorious wrestler of Charles.

Celia tries to cajole Rosalind into reasonable feelings through word play without success and then asks her if it could really be possible that she could so suddenly fall in love with Orlando, words that Orlando will later echo in Act V, Scene II when he asks Oliver if he could so suddenly fall in love with Aliena/Celia! Rosalind's one justification for so suddenly falling in love is that Orlando's father, Sir Rowland, was best of friends with her own father, Duke Senior.

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As You Like It

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