As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Celia

Marry, I prithee do, to make sport withal, but love no man in good earnest, nor no further in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honor come off again. (I.ii.21–23)

Here, Celia encourages Rosalind to “make sport” in love and delight in the chase but not to take the situation too far, for if she did, she would risk losing her dignity and chastity in the process. Even though Celia gives Rosalind this seemingly sound advice, she proves herself to be easily carried away in love. Later in the play, Celia quickly falls deeply in love with Oliver.

Then lay that sentence on me too, my lord. I cannot live without her. (I.iii.80)

Celia speaks these words to her father, Duke Senior, after he banishes her cousin Rosalind from court. Celia feels so devoted to Rosalind that she claims she cannot live without her and will follow Rosalind into exile. Celia’s love for Rosalind represents one of the most mature examples of love in the play.

Something browner than Judas’s. Marry, his kisses are Judas’s own children. (III.iv.7–8)

When Orlando fails to show up to see Rosalind, who remains disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind feels distraught. Rosalind believes Orlando has betrayed her and compares him to Judas, the betrayer of Jesus Christ. Here, Celia, ever the comforter to Rosalind, convinces Rosalind that Orlando could not be similar to Judas as Orlando’s hair is darker than Judas’s.

“Was” is not “is.” Besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster. They are both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends here in the forest on the duke your father. (III.iv.26–27)

After being stood up by Orlando, Rosalind feels distraught. Even though Celia doesn’t quite believe Orlando betrayed Rosalind, she remains skeptical of his feelings. After all, Celia points out, a lover’s promise compares to that of a tapster, or bartender: Both, Celia claims, will swear to their lies. With these words, Celia comforts Rosalind yet still gives practical advice.

Or rather bottomless, that as fast as you pour affection in, it runs out. (IV.i.176)

Rosalind tries to convince Celia how deeply in love she is with Orlando, even though she has just abused him. Celia wryly tells Rosalind that while her affections might run deep, they “run out” the other side of her heart and mind as soon as they flow in. Celia, who knows her cousin well, creates for the reader a window into the multifaceted aspects of Rosalind’s personality.