How does cross dressing help Rosalind achieve her goals in this play that is how does cross

dressing assist her and how does she use her new position as a boy to procure what she wants, can we draw any parallels to modernity’s notion of cross dressing in other words what commentary is being made about appearance versus reality, disguises, dressing the part etc. What is Rosalind’s goals – Testing Orlando – testing him to see if he is worthy or marriage to her. Asks questions to Orlando about what he will do when he meets Rosalind.
“…the most general answer, one can begin by stating that cross dressing, like other disruptions of the Renaissance semiotics of dress, opened a gap between the supposed reality of one's social station and sexual kind and the clothes that were to display that reality to the world. As is well known, the state regulated dress in early modern England, especially in urban settings, precisely to keep people in the social "places" to which they were born. Elizabethan sumptuary proclamations list those who could wear certain colors (such as purple), certain fabrics (such as silk), and certain adornments (such as spurs, daggers, jewels).” [this is from the journal I sent you} Two women alone in the forest – so Rosalind dresses as a man for protection when the two cousins leave the Court to live in the forest. Rosalind Were it not better , because that I am more than common tall, that I did suit me all points like a man? (1.iii.112-14) I will speak to him like a saucy lackey and Under that habit play the knave with him (3.ii. 268-269)

Rosalind to Orlando Questions him about what he will do when he sees Rosalind. Come woo me woo me for now I am in a holiday humour What would you say to me now (4.i. 60-62) Orlando I would kiss before I spoke (4.i 63) Rosalind is going against the norm, and societal expectations, she is giving up female dress, she is leaving the home without being wed she leaves home with another women. She acts like a man by taking up the sword

with everyone looking alike. For example. Uniforms in schools can serve a number of functions. By exploring the masculine and feminine sides of a person. for example . the sameness of dress can help to keep outsiders out and add to the security of the school setting. a child in a private school uniform is a social marker of his or her parents ability to afford a private school. will be marginalized. Failure to assimilate. We still have a great deal of social expectations about appearance. Rosalind is given this magical power. men dressed as women outside of the gay community our outside of theatre etc. Workplace culture brings with it expectations of dress such as bankers on Bay street would be expected to dress in suits whereas young computer tech men and women have much more freedom of choice about dress. additionally. Shakespeare reveals the true nature of love when Orlando’s feelings goes from lust for a woman to admiration of a man. the uniform can help to eliminate the eliminate hierarchy amongst peers in modes of dress . and the cultural norms of her time. enabling her to explore different arenas of gender – and still be desired in both of them. Uniforms in the school setting can also act as a form of security. Rosalind’s actions can be seen as a rebellion against the status quo. but it can also show status. while women are free to wear pants and other articles of clothing that we associate as being menswear out society still has many forms of gender and social and cultural expectations around dress. For example. . in the work place. The deep friendship between Rosalind and Celia is a fascinating revelation of love between two women. women who choose to wear only men’s clothes may also be marginalized depending up on where they work.thus. For example in France women wearing hijab are discriminated against “in order to protect French culture” Protecting the status quo – protecting the dominant culture from social change. Shakespeare reveals that love has nothing to do with gender. Thus. so refined and dramatic to the point that it is difficult to ignore the fact that they could easily become lovers. while gender relations have changed and advanced since Shakespeare’s time. Through Rosalind’s change from woman to man. expectations around dress. gender and clothing in various societal venues is still subject to scrutiny. Today.

By exploring the masculine and feminine sides of a person.What was Shakespeare’s intention with a role-play such as the one in As You Like It? Is it a good thing that we can take on different roles? That we can use this ability to achieve something as wonderful as love? Or is he proving that exploring different roles is the only way to truly become the person you want to be? Through Rosalind’s change from woman to man. Shakespeare reveals the true nature of love when Orlando’s feelings goes from lust for a woman to admiration of a man. enabling her to explore different arenas of gender – and still be desired in both of them. Shakespeare reveals that love has nothing to do with gender. so refined and dramatic to the point that it is difficult to ignore the fact that they could easily become lovers. Rosalind is given this magical power. Shakespeare is playing with gender identities and ruins the idea of sexual difference. The deep friendship between Rosalind and Celia is a fascinating revelation of love between two women. .

leaves the comforts of her uncle’s court to live in the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia. we have a number of places that ban the wearing of the burqua or the hijab and both school and the workplace have social and cultural mores through which people must negotiate. more importantly Rosalind becomes the young man Ganymede in order to test Orlando’s love. Rosalind discards her woman’s clothing and dresses as a boy initially as a form of protection to ensure that she and her cousin can travel safely. the protagonist and the daughter of Duke Senior. However. Dressed as a man Rosalind would not be immured by the laws erected against women and so would have the safety and freedom to leave the court and accompany her cousin to the forest.Cross Dressing in As You Like It In Shakespeare’s As You Like It gender and identity are used to explore social roles and gender expectations in 16th century Elizabethan England. Thus. not realizing that Rosalind and Gannymede are one and the same person. Rosalind. Shakespeare exposes the reality that love is not solely about sex. a utopia. Shakespeare exposes the dangers . Rosalind’s gender transgression through cross-dressing is mirrored in today’s society in a number of other social and cultural ways. It seems as though as we progress through the years the line that separates what a man or woman can wear is blurred while newer cultural barriers are erected While we cannot simply state that Shakespeare had the intention of writing in favor of women’s rights such as Flaubert or Ibsen. Through Rosalind’s cross dressing from a woman to man. Today. he does make a feminist point by having Rosalind dress as a man. We know this because Orlando’s feelings change from lust for Rosalind to admiration for Gannymede.

” ((Howard 32). and hence because men are generally taller than women she must be the male. at the same time she is conforming to gender expectations by becoming a male because she is taller. fits easier into the role of boy due to her physical appearance. such as silk and which adornments a person could wear. because that I am more than common tall. and “…the state regulated dress in early modern England. and societal expectations. an Elizabethan reader might say. we know from the text that she is the taller of the two cousins. (Howard 32) In breaking free from her aristocratic station in life and switching genders. Rosalind breaks free from her societal regulations when she cross- . when she obviates the putative female dress. especially in urban settings. precisely to keep people in the social "places" to which they were born.” The Elizabethan’s had regulations in regards to who could wear what colours such as purple. and leaving home alone with another woman. She also breaks a number of other rules such as leaving home without being wed. As Rosalind says to Celia. This ranged from spurs to daggers and jewels.112-14) Although Rosalind is breaking open a window a little and allowing us to see into the window the restrictions a woman would face in Elizabethan England. Were it not better . which fabrics.that existed for a woman traveling alone. Rosalind also acts like a man by taking up the sword thus. Rosalind’s actions can be seen as a rebellion against the status quo. that I did suit me all points like a man? (1. and the cultural norms of her time. Rosalind is going against the norm. Rosalind.iii. Additionally in the Renaissance clothing was a highly regulated matter.

dresses as a boy and she becomes friends to Orlando and a mentor to the folks in the Forest of Arden.speak to him like a saucy lackey and /Under that habit play the knave with him (3. and she says she will. Shakespeare allows the audience and his characters to gain insight into how clothing and appearance determine a characters actions and fate. Ganymede was a Trojan prince and the most handsome among mortals. In changing into men’s clothing Rosalind becomes freer and thus this act alone underlines the restrictions placed on women. It is significant also that Shakespeare chose the name Ganymede for the male Rosalind. When Rosalind becomes a female transvestite she goes from the passive Rosalind who flirts with Orlando to the active male who leads the forest outlaws and who freely banters with Orlando. 268-269). . What was Shakespeare’s intention with a role-play such as the one in As You Like It? Is it good that we can take on different just by changing our clothes? Or is Shakespeare proving that exploring different roles is the only way to truly become the person you want to be? Through Rosalind’s change from woman to man.including Orlando. like the love between Celia and Rosalind.. that Rosalind as a woman could not do because she would have been confined to the social manners that bound a woman of her time. Shakespeare’s use of the name Ganymede can also be seen as a way of promoting a homoerotic attraction between Orlando and Rosalind in order to point out that love is not limited to the love between a man and a woman..ii. Shakespeare opens the possibility of love between two men (even though the audience is aware that one of the men is really a woman). Again. He was abducted by Zeus and became his lover. She also teaches the rest of the outlaws how to love . “. Something. Shakespeare reveals the true nature of love.

additionally. what was once lust for the woman Rosalind becomes friendship and admiration for the man Ganymede. for example. while women are free to wear pants and other articles of clothing that we associate as being menswear out society still has many forms of gender and social and cultural expectations around dress. so refined and dramatic to the point that it is difficult to ignore the fact that they could easily become lovers. Shakespeare reveals that love has nothing to do with gender. Today. but it can also show status. In short. For example. Shakespeare is playing with gender identities and the possibility of love in all its forms. We still have a great deal of social expectations about appearance. a child in a private school uniform is a social marker of his or her parent’s ability to afford a private school. By exploring the masculine and feminine sides of a person. Orlando likes and listens to Ganymede and becomes close to him.When Rosalind changes into Ganymede. Workplace culture brings with it expectations of dress such as bankers on Bay street would be expected to dress in suits whereas young computer tech men and women have much more freedom of choice about dress. will be marginalized. men dressed as women outside of the gay community our outside of theatre etc. the uniform can help to eliminate the eliminate hierarchy amongst peers in modes of dress. in the work place. enabling her to explore the various arenas of gender and yet as boy or woman. women who choose to wear only men’s clothes may also be marginalized depending up on where they work. Rosalind is still desired by Orlando in some way. Rosalind is given this magical power. Uniforms in the school setting can also act as a form of security. Uniforms in schools can serve a number of functions. The deep friendship between Rosalind and Celia is a fascinating revelation of love between two women. For example. with everyone looking .

yet there are many areas of social life that force us to conform and monitor how we dress and what we wear. Today. the sameness of dress can help to keep outsiders out and add to the security of the school setting. the relationship between the sexes is much freer than it was in Elizabethan England. As You Like It is more than just a comedy. and by extension how gender shapes relationships. it is an insight into how clothes and gender expectations shaped the Elizabethan man and woman. .alike.

The Theatre. Print.Works Cited Howard. and Gender Struggle in Early Modern England." George Washington University.4 (1988): 32. 39. "Crossdressing . Jean. .

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