Who was Rosalind? Why was she retained in the court by the usurper in the play " As You Like It " by Shakespeare?The question is from the play " As  You Like It  " by Shakespeare.

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rosalind is one of the major characters in "As You Like It." She is an intelligent, beautiful, and self-sufficient young women. She is the daughter of the deposed Duke who is now living in the Forest of Arden. She has been retained by the usurper because his own daughter Celia is so strongly attached to Rosalind that they are inseparable. The usurping Duke, however, decides to banish Rosalind because she has too strong an influence on Celia. Also, her presence may be too much of a reminder of his guilt. Celia decides to accompany Rosalind to the Forest of Arden in search of her father and his loyal followers. There Rosalind, who has disguised herself as a young man, meets the equally homeless Orlando and falls in love with him without letting him know she is really a female. Their love story is the most important element in the entire play. Rosalind's life becomes complicated when a peasant girl falls in love with her, thinking she is a young man. Since female roles were played by young men in Elizabethan theaters, Rosalind really is a young man pretending to be a young woman who is pretending to be a young man. This makes Rosalind a challenging and intriguing role.

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As You Like It

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