Differences Between Female And Female Actions And Behaviors

1517 Words7 Pages
Matthew Drozd
Dissolving Gender Definitions There are observed differences between male and female actions and behaviors in As You Like It; males are ‘required’ to be reasonable—to act with reason—while females seem to make rash decisions based on emotions. Orlando, one of the minor protagonists in As You Like It, acts with his emotions, a quality that Rosalind, the major protagonist, sees as feminine. However, she does not want Orlando to necessarily loose sight of his emotions but rather be more in control of them. His emotionally-geared actions were, and are, controversial because it—men acting on emotions—goes against the stereotype that men acknowledge their emotions. Along side of Orlando’s stereotypical opposition, Rosalind also
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Having As You Like It shift and modify the views of woman was, for a lack of a better word, revolutionary and could be seen as one of the first feminist movements.
Duke Fredrich banishes Duke Senior from the kingdom and Rosalind, Duke Senior’s daughter, was obviously banished as well. When Celia, Duke Fredrich’s daughter, heard news of Rosalind’s banishment, she joined Rosalind in running off into the forest. Rosalind and Celia propose an idea to dress up as men to avoid any male objectified attention while traveling through the forest. At this point, the first major gender stereotype is seen: masculine freedom. In the sixteenth century France, women were viewed as frail and helpless. Rosalind and Celia dress up as men so they may travel through the forest ‘safer.’ By traveling as men, both Celia and Rosalind’s appearance would seem tougher inevitably being able to hid their “women’s fear” (1.3.117). Rosalind mentions a few ‘manly’ characteristics: “swashing and a martial outside” (1.3.118) signifies the tough exterior that men have; “That do outface it with their semblances” (1.3.120) signifies that even men themselves can pretend to be tough, just by being a biological man. The fact that Rosalind and Celia dress as men suggests that masculinity is merely a role to be played with; it is not definitive or associable with biological gender. Rosalind being a woman does not mean she needs to conform with the typical women characteristic of
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