Our venues
Our museums and galleries

Rosalind and Celia

Rosalind and Celia

Celia and Rosalind are characters in William Shakespeare's play 'As You Like It'.

They flee together from the court of Celia's father, Duke Frederick. They pool their funds and set up a home together in the forest. To avoid being recognised, Rosalind dresses as a man and calls herself Ganymede. Celia disguises herself as a shepherdess called Aliena.

Rosalind’s cross-dressing is, like many other plays from the same period, used to create a scenario where both female and male same-sex desire can be expressed. Celia eventually marries a man but her strong and sometimes erotic desire for Rosalind remains a consistent theme throughout the play. Both the female, Phoebe, and the male character Orlando, fall in love with Rosalind and court her whilst she is disguised as a man. Shakespeare’s play therefore suggests that sexual desire is not fixed on one particular gender. 

Objects

Share

Page load time: 109 ms

LGBT collections

Explore our LGBT collections researched by our Pride and Prejudice research project