Out, fool. (III.ii.88)
Rosalind calls Touchstone a fool and tells him to go away after he makes fun of Orlando’s poetry about her. On the one hand, Rosalind knows that the poetry seems weak, and the act of posting the poems on a tree appears foolish. But on the other hand, she feels overjoyed at Orlando’s open declaration of his love and so becomes protective and touchy when Touchstone pokes fun.
Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on. (III.ii.226)
Rosalind makes this wry comment to Celia about women having no filter and blurting out every thought they have. Rosalind recently learned that Orlando has appeared in the forest of Ardenne. Overwhelmed and giddy, Rosalind asks a slew of questions about his appearance, which Celia gently mocks. Rosalind’s comment about a woman’s lack of a filter reveals not only a deprecating self-awareness but also a nonjudgmental acceptance of such behavior.
Then there is no true lover in the forest, else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy foot of time as well as a clock. (III.ii.272–275)
Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede, makes fun of groaning and sighing lovers to Orlando. Orlando has arrived late for his lesson with Ganymede and blames his tardiness on the fact that clocks don’t exist in the forest. Rosalind, as Ganymede, replies that there must be no lovers then, since lovers make their protestations every hour. Rosalind mocks not Orlando but what she sees as pretense in love, though she is also subject to dramatic emotional displays herself.
Love is merely a madness and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do, and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love, too. (III.ii.357–359)
Rosalind, while disguised as Ganymede, tells Orlando that love exists as a madness that needs to be cured, not indulged in. Orlando has just confessed to Ganymede that he loves Rosalind, and Rosalind responds by ridiculing him for being in love. She claims that the reason people are able to indulge in the excesses of love is because almost everyone falls victim to the same insanity. To Rosalind, the excessive behaviors of courtly love seem foolish.
I would cure you if you would but call me Rosalind and come every day to my cote and woo me. (III.ii.381)
Here, Rosalind sets up an elaborate ruse to keep Orlando near: She offers her services, as Ganymede, to help “cure” Orlando of his love for Rosalind, a love that causes him anguish and pain. Through her disguise as a man, Rosalind possesses the freedom to tutor Orlando in the ways of love and disabuse him of more idealistic notions about how lovers should behave, which she finds foolish.
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than drunkards. (IV.i.5–6)
Rosalind, while disguised as Ganymede, talks with Jaques, a lord of her father, Duke Senior. After Jaques confirms that he feels melancholy a lot of the time, Rosalind explains that those who often feel melancholy seem to fall on either side of emotional extremes and, as such, are worthy of the same kind of criticism aimed at drunkards. Those who lend themselves to extreme emotions, she argues, betray their better natures.
I see no more in you than in the ordinary Of nature’s sale-work. (III.v.45)
While disguised as Ganymede, Rosalind tells Phoebe that her beauty falls under the category of ordinary, and as such, she doesn’t deserve to berate Silvius so bitterly. Even though Rosalind has pointed out on numerous occasions that behavior like Silvius’s seems pitiful, she still doesn’t think it’s right to kick Silvius when he’s down, a stance that demonstrates Rosalind’s level of sensitivity and awareness.
’Tis not her glass but you that flatters her, And out of you she sees herself more proper Than any of her lineaments can show her. (III.v.58–59)
After watching Silvius’s overblown romantic gestures toward Phoebe, Rosalind chastises him for putting Phoebe on such a pedestal. Phoebe’s charms and beauty, Rosalind argues, appear to be more a creation of Silvius’s mind than reality. Rosalind tries to break Silvius free from this overly poetic display of love and bring him to his senses.
So I do. But I’ faith, I should have been a woman by right. (IV.ii.199)
While pretending to be a man, Rosalind tells Oliver that she should have been a woman. Readers know the reality of the situation, which lends humor to such a statement. This delightful twist of reality allows Rosalind to speak one fine truth: She is starting to get tired of her games.
I’ll think of something. But please, tell him how well I faked a faint. Will you come with us?
After Rosalind hears of the dangers Orlando faced in the woods, she faints, an action for which she feels embarrassed. Now she wants to save face. Here, Rosalind asks Oliver to let Orlando know how well she, or Ganymede, has faked a fainting spell. Even though Rosalind plays the role of the tough critic, she possesses a soft side and can be susceptible to the same vulnerabilities as any other.