«by JANE ELIZABETH KINGSLEY-SMITH A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY The ...»
I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness, which was to forswear the full stream of the world and to live in a nook merely monastic. (3.2.402-5) Here, to renounce love, to withdraw into solitude, to become constant, is equated with madness. It is no wonder that Orlando says 'I would not be cured, youth" (3.2.409).
49 Geoffrey Miles remarks that the 'external, self-dramatizing strain in Roman Stoicism contrasts oddly with the "inwardness" of Stoic ethics, its theoretical stress on morality as "an affair of the inner life'" in his Shakespeare and the Constant Romans (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 14. Paul Alpers also refers to the difference between pastoral and tragic modes here. The Duke's speech is not 'wrenched from experience' like Gloucester's. It bears witness 'not to the individual's attempt to make sense of his own and others' suffering, but to a common condition acknowledged as obvious', What is Pastoral?, 73.
50 Corin's self-sufficiency is more ideological than material. He tells Rosalind and Celia in 2.4 that he is the shepherd to another man's flocks, 77-8.
Apart from Duke Senior, the play's exiles quickly forget about their condition.
Stoicism becomes superfluous, even absurd, to them because they do not suffer. Such renunciation is opposed to love and to the pleasures of pastoral liberty which compose the main consolation for banishment in this play.
Rosalind and Celia recognise almost immediately the land of opportunity that awaits them outside the court: 'Now go we in content,/ To liberty, and not to banishment' (1.3.136-7).
This opportunity is at first represented by the possibility of travel. Whilst this is viewed as a danger, it also glimmers with possibility. In Cardan's Comforte, he encouraged the exile to consider his wandering as a journey taken for pleasure. The banished Sedmond offers the same consolation to his sister, Clarisia, in the play Common Conditions (1576). He tells her to think only of the weariness consonant with travel and not of the exile's woes. She responds, But, brother! we are no travellers, that useth day by day To range abroad in foreign lands, to trace the beaten way.
We are constrained through very force, to fly from native soil;
We are compelled though cruelty to undertake this toil.
The traveller may keep the way that likes him best to go;
We are constrained to shroud ourselves in woods for fear of foe.
Then, brother, tell me whether he or we do take most pain, Considering: when he please, he may return to home again! 3 In contrast, Rosalind and Celia are far more willing to view themselves as travellers. Though the journey is tiring and they arrive in Arden hungry and depressed, no mention is made of banishment. Touchstone deplores their condition but remarks that 'travellers', not exiles, must be content.
51 Common Conditions in Five Anonymous Plays ed. by John S. Farmer (London: Early English Drama Socierv.
The disguise which travel requires, the need for Rosalind to become a man and Celia a poor country maid, is similarly relished. There may be a kind of glee in Celia's transformation of herself into someone lower-class and dirty. Til put myself in poor and mean attire,/ And with a kind of umber smirch my face' (110-1). Rosalind too partly forgets the practical reasons for male attire as she perceives its satiric potential (113-21). Nor do the characters regret the abandonment of their former roles. Celia has not been officially banished (as in Lodge's work) but chooses exile out of love for Rosalind. She casually dismisses her birthright: 'Let my father seek another heir' (98). The adoption of the name 'Aliena' is only half relevant to her self-alienated state and suggests the extent to which banishment is an opportunity for theatricality. It is natural that Touchstone the fool should join this company of players.
Davis writes of the disguises adopted in Rosalynde: 'Each of the roles, it should be noticed, transforms the merely privative state of those who have lost their place in society into a positive ideal of unrestricted action*. 52 It is Rosalind who will make the greatest use of the liberties offered by disguise in Shakespeare's play. Rosalind in love is already transformed and in a particular sense liberated. Her feeling of self-expansion and self-discovery through love is expressed in geographical metaphors. In suspense for news of Orlando, she declares 'One inch of delay more is a South Sea of discovery' (3.2.192-3); later she tells Celia that her love cannot be limited, 'My affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal' (4.1.197-8). This potential is recognised by Orlando who describes his Rosalind as composite
When Ganimede represents womankind he includes less attractive qualities, to encompass the full range of emotions, virtues and faults. He describes how, in the guise of a woman, he would 'grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles' (3.2.395-7). This all-inclusiveness is also the expansiveness created by love as Rosalind describes it. Yet it is her role as Ganimede which allows for the release of all kinds of repressed folly and wisdom, including love. Disguise brings power and particularly empowers the woman in courtship. As Ganimede, Rosalind is able to deride, manipulate and command Orlando and to woo him without commitment. She can teach him what to expect from his Rosalind and ascertain his likely responses to her desires for liberty in their union. Yet Ganimede also allows Rosalind to experience the painless severing of social bonds which previously defined her. Her new role celebrates the alienation of exile.
Rosalind's alter ego claims to have remained in one place all his life and it is as the contented native that he criticises wanderlust. Jaques has been boasting about his melancholy, fashioned
from 'the sundry contemplation of my travels' (4.1.15-9, 17). Ganimede responds:
Then, ignoring Orlando's greeting, he continues Farewell, Monsieur Traveller. Look you lisp, and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are, or I will scarce
think you have swam in a gondola. (31 -6) :3
Coming from Ganimede, this speech is entirely logical. The youth has supposedly never left the forest and yet has received a superfluity of education and experience', suggesting the redundancy of travel. When Orlando questions how he came by his accent in 'so removed a dwelling' (3.2.332), Ganimede explains that he was educated by a religious uncle, 'an inland man', who was once at court (333-6). There is clearly some mystery about Ganimede's origins. In another pastoral drama, the discrepancies in his story might have marked him out as a foundling. His natural gentility shines through the pastoral garb. 34 Nevertheless, his criticism of Jaques fits the story of Ganimede's youth and his current position as a landowner. As the possessor of his own cottage and flocks, Ganimede might well mock the man who throws his inheritance away in pursuit of melancholy. Similarly, the exiled Rosalind might find Jaques' attitude irritating or offensive. The latter has apparently thrown away his inheritance where Rosalind had hers forcefully taken (and bestowed upon Celia who then abandoned it). Jaques upbraided himself for voluntarily leaving the court for exile with Duke Senior. Again, Rosalind might compare her enforced absence from the court. Yet Ganimede's attack reveals a surprising hypocrisy in Rosalind for its opprobrious terms also apply to her.
She wears the 'strange suits' of male attire. Knowing that her father is in the forest, indeed 53 When this passage receives critical attention it is usually for its conventional anti-travel sentiments. Agnes Latham refers to it as a 'stock diatribe' offering King John 1.1.189ff as another example, As You Like It (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1975), p95, 4.1.31n. We might also compare this passage with Samuel Purchas' critique of those gentlemen travellers who attain experience only with 'the losse or lessening of their estate' in the preface to Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes, Contayning a History of the World, in Sea Voyages & Lande-Travells, by Englishmen & others (London, 1625) 5 vols., vol. 1, no pg. nos.
54 Consider for example Guiderius and Arviragus in Shakespeare's Cymbeline (1609). These two were stolen as babies from their true father. King Cymbeline, by Belarius in revenge for his unjust banishment. Belarius wonders at their inherent nobility: 'though trained up thus meanly/ I'th'cave wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit/ The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them/ In simple and low things to prince it much/ Beyond the trick of others' (3.3.82-6). Innogen similarly perceives their paradoxical greatness (3.6.79-84).
having met him, Rosalind continues in her disguise as if 'out of love with [her] nativity'. Nor can she still plead necessity since the dangers that required disguise are passed. Rather.
Ganimede provides Rosalind with the same voluntary alienation for which s/he criticises the traveller.
Despite Ganimede's supposed place in the forest, he is remarkably free of ties. He has a sister, Aliena, but no parents are mentioned. The magician uncle does not appear. Moreover, Ganimede eschews communication with the other shepherds. There are no singing competitions or shared repasts and no talk of pastoral love. He observes the courtship of Phoebe and Silvius as a pastoral diversion in which he interferes to uphold the status quo.
The secret of Ganimede's true identity obviously creates a boundary between himself and the other inhabitants of Arden, most obviously Phoebe, whilst the perceived distinction in class, though apparently unfounded, keeps him away from Corin and Silvius. Yet Ganimede will take no part in the courtly world either. When he meets Duke Senior he boasts that he is of as good parentage as the duke and then runs away. There is no one with whom Ganimede may not interfere or conjure. Towards the end of the play, he promises to defy human space and time by making Rosalind appear before Orlando. With his uncle. Ganimede has lived 'obscured in the circle of the forest' and his association with magic suggests his liminality.
He exists on the margins of aristocracy, of masculinity, even of humanity.
Rosalind/Ganimede's anti-social liberty and taste for satire are reflected in Jaques. On hearing that Frederick has been converted by a hermit, Jaques asks if it is really true that 'The Duke hath put on a religious life/ And thrown into neglect the pompous court' (5.4.179-80).
Jaques is clearly attracted to Stoicism as matter for his own solipsistic posturing. The true Stoic would hardly prize such a 'humorous sadness', aiming at an altogether more tranquil state of mind. Yet he is the only character at the end unwilling to partake of the festivities and to rejoin society. Rosalind's pleasure in alienation, a pleasure she partly shares with Jaques, must obviously be renounced if she is to rejoin the world. As she returns to the place in society dictated by her birth so she must also relinquish the freedom of vacillating between two sexual identities.
In the First Folio and in subsequent editions, Ganimede's speeches are explicitly attributed to Rosalind through speech prefixes. However, Lodge uses 'Ganimede' or the masculine pronoun (as I have done here). Catherine Belsey similarly refutes the idea that Rosalind has a continuous identity in the play, that we see Rosalind through Ganimede, rather than a figure whose sex is indeterminate. Instead the play suggests the possibility of plurality, an expansion of that theme of inclusiveness we have already identified in Rosalind. When she does reveal herself to her father and to Orlando in her wedding dress. Rosalind's identity contracts. She is now singular, feminine and reified, to be handed from one man to the other.
She is displaced as the kingdom's heir by her husband and interrupted by Hymen at the wedding, though her reappearance to deliver the epilogue, still playing on the male and female possibilities of her character, partially redeems this impression. On the resolutions of
As You Like It and of Twelfth Night Belsey writes:
At the end of each story the heroine abandons her disguise and dwindles into a wife. Closure depends on closing off the glimpsed transgression and reinstating a clearly defined sexual difference. But the plays are more than their endings, and the heroines become wives only after they have been shown to be something altogether more singular - because more plural."
35 'Disrupting Sexual Difference: Meaning and Gender in the Comedies' in Alternative Shakespeares ed. by John Drakakis (London and New York: Methuen, 1985). 166-90, 187-8.
The kind of self-aggrandisement enjoyed by Orlando is altogether more lasting because achieved through socially-approved rather than subversive means. Exile, a state apparently antithetical to society, allows him to find a place in that other world through the blessings of the goddess Fortune, but also through education, patronage and marriage. Montrose describes
Orlando undergoing the same process of self-discovery as Rosalind:
In a playworld of romance, Orlando and Rosalind experience separation from childhood, journeying, posing and disguising, altered and confused relationships to parental figures, sexual ambiguity, and tension [...] The forest sojourn conducts Orlando and Rosalind from an initial situation of oppression and frustration to the threshold of interdependent new identities. 56 However, as Montrose argues so persuasively, this maturation must be seen in a specific social context. Orlando is located as a younger brother in English Renaissance society whose ambitions are foiled by the system of primogeniture. His situation reflects the difficulties of the adolescent in a patriarchal conspiracy to delay the maturation of its young men by keeping them firmly subordinated and delaying marriage (38). Montrose imagines the effect of As You Like It upon ambitious younger sons and on the Elizabethan/ Jacobean audience in general, each man's future to a large extent circumscribed by his class.