1/12/2019

Character of Celia (As You Like It)

5. Describe the character of Celia.      Ans. Celia is the cousin of Rosalind, the heroine of the play. The most striking facet of Celia’s character is her deep attachment to Rosalind. The indication of this attachment is given to us in the course of the play. When Celia’s father Duke Frederick passes the sentence of banishment against Rosalind, she protests against her father’s decision and reminds him that  she and Rosalind have slept together, risen at the same time, learned together, played together, eaten together, and like Juno’s swans, have gone everywhere together. When Duke Frederick repeats his decision to banish Rosalind, Celia says to her father:  “Pronounce that sentence then on me, liege.  I cannot live out of her company.”    Like her cousin Rosalind, Celia has a deeply sympathetic nature. The sight of young Orlando about to enter into a wrestling contest with Charles moves Celia’s heart as much as it moves Rosalind’s. Thinking that Orlando would be defeated by Charles, she tries to dissuade him from fighting against Charles. Finding him determined to fight Celia, like Rosalind says that she would like to add her own strength to Orlando’s in order to increase his fighting capacity.    Celia, like Rosalind, has a jovial nature. She always tries to cheer up Rosalind, when Rosalind is in a melancholy mood. In fact Celia is always ready with amusing remark. Finding Rosalind melancholy because she has fallen in love, Celia says, “Why cousin, why Rosalind! Cupid have mercu, not a word?” When Rosalind says that this world is full of thorn, Celia tries to comfort her by suggesting that Rosalind should treat these thorns as burs thorn upon her in holiday foolery.    Celia is as witty as Rosalind is in some scenes of the play. She makes several witty remarks in this play. When Orlando has failed to keep his promise to meet Ganymede (or Rosalind) on the next day, Celia says that the oath of a lover is no more reliable than the word of a barman in a tavern. Then Celia caps all her witty remarks in the following amusing speech in which she describes Orlando mockingly:    “O, that’s a brave man!  He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely…”    Like her cousin, Cleia too has a romantic temperament, and falls in love with Oliver at first sight. As Rosalind puts it, Cleia’s and Oliver’s falling in love with each other was as sudden as the fight of two male sheep who attack each other without any provocation. In this context Rosalind recalls Julius Caesar’s rhetorical boast: “I came, saw and overcame.”    To conclude we may say that Celia serves to set off the excellent qualities of Rosalind. Celia possesses all Rosalind’s qualities, but in a lesser measure. So she acts as a foil to Rosalind.



 Celia is the cousin of Rosalind, the heroine of the play. The most striking facet of Celia’s character is her deep attachment to Rosalind. The indication of this attachment is given to us in the course of the play. When Celia’s father Duke Frederick passes the sentence of banishment against Rosalind, she protests against her father’s decision and reminds him that  she and Rosalind have slept together, risen at the same time, learned together, played together, eaten together, and like Juno’s swans, have gone everywhere together. When Duke Frederick repeats his decision to banish Rosalind, Celia says to her father:
“Pronounce that sentence then on me, liege.
I cannot live out of her company.”

Like her cousin Rosalind, Celia has a deeply sympathetic nature. The sight of young Orlando about to enter into a wrestling contest with Charles moves Celia’s heart as much as it moves Rosalind’s. Thinking that Orlando would be defeated by Charles, she tries to dissuade him from fighting against Charles. Finding him determined to fight Celia, like Rosalind says that she would like to add her own strength to Orlando’s in order to increase his fighting capacity.

Celia, like Rosalind, has a jovial nature. She always tries to cheer up Rosalind, when Rosalind is in a melancholy mood. In fact Celia is always ready with amusing remark. Finding Rosalind melancholy because she has fallen in love, Celia says, “Why cousin, why Rosalind! Cupid have mercu, not a word?” When Rosalind says that this world is full of thorn, Celia tries to comfort her by suggesting that Rosalind should treat these thorns as burs thorn upon her in holiday foolery.

Celia is as witty as Rosalind is in some scenes of the play. She makes several witty remarks in this play. When Orlando has failed to keep his promise to meet Ganymede (or Rosalind) on the next day, Celia says that the oath of a lover is no more reliable than the word of a barman in a tavern. Then Celia caps all her witty remarks in the following amusing speech in which she describes Orlando mockingly:

“O, that’s a brave man!  He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely…”

Like her cousin, Cleia too has a romantic temperament, and falls in love with Oliver at first sight. As Rosalind puts it, Cleia’s and Oliver’s falling in love with each other was as sudden as the fight of two male sheep who attack each other without any provocation. In this context Rosalind recalls Julius Caesar’s rhetorical boast: “I came, saw and overcame.”

To conclude we may say that Celia serves to set off the excellent qualities of Rosalind. Celia possesses all Rosalind’s qualities, but in a lesser measure. So she acts as a foil to Rosalind.

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