The youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, Orlando is, in many respects, the hero of the play. Though cheated of his inheritance by his older brother, Oliver, and therefore uneducated and disadvantaged, he… (read full character analysis)
Duke Senior is Rosalind’s father and the rightful duke of the land. Before the action of the play, his brother, Duke Frederick, banished him from the land, forcing him to seek exile in… (read full character analysis)
Duke Frederick is the brother of Duke Senior and the usurper of his throne. While he initially allows Rosalind, Duke Senior’s daughter, to remain in the company of his own daughter, Celia, he… (read full character analysis)
The oldest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, Oliver harbors an irrational hatred for his brother, Orlando. He deprives him of his inheritance and education and plots to burn his house down. When… (read full character analysis)
The daughter of Duke Frederick, Celia cares inordinately for her cousin, Rosalind, and consistently proves her selfless generosity. After insisting that her father allow Rosalind to stay in court with her, she promises… (read full character analysis)
One of the lords that joins Duke Senior in the forest, Amiens is jovial and often singing.
Jaques de Boys
The middle brother of Sir Rowland de Boys, Jaques enters at the end of the play to inform the crowd of Duke Frederick’s religious transformation.
Sir Rowland de Boys
The father of Jaques, Oliver, and Orlando, Sir Rowland de Boys died before the action of the play. The division of his inheritance characterizes his sons’ relationship and competitiveness toward one another.
One of Duke Frederick’s courtiers, Monsieur Le Beau informs Celia and Rosalind of the coming wrestling match between Orlando and Charles, and, later, Orlando of the identity of Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind.
A court wrestler, Charles tries to convince Oliver to prevent Orlando from fighting with him, because he considers himself very likely to win and perhaps harm Orlando. Ultimately, however, he loses the match (and his reputation).
The loyal servant to Orlando and, before him, Sir Rowland de Boys, Adam warns Orlando of his brother’s murderous plans, and accompanies him in his exile to the Forest of Arden.
The court fool, Touchstone accompanies Celia and Rosalind, at their request, into the Forest of Arden. He is witty, silly, and bawdy, but his fooling is seldom foolish. At the end of the play, he marries Audrey.
Sir Oliver Martext
A country curate who arrives to marry Touchstone and Audrey, when Touchstone decides that they will be married in a church instead.
A shepherd who adores Phebe with slavish devotion, even though his love is not reciprocated. He is a ridiculous model of the traditional pastoral tradition of the male lover scorned by his beloved.
A fellow shepherd and friend of Silvius, Corin tries, to no avail, to counsel Silvius on the subject of love, and helps Rosalind and Celia purchase the sheep flock and cottage.
A dull shepherdess, Phebe rejects Silvius’s love, and instead falls in love at first sight with Ganymede. When Ganymede becomes Rosalind again, however, she contentedly marries Silvius. Just as Silvius is a ridiculous example of a scorned lover, Phebe is a parody of a scornful beloved.
A young boy of the country who loves Audrey, but cannot compete with Touchstone's more wicked and complex wit.
God of marriage, Hymen reunites Rosalind with her father and lover, and sings songs of love at the collective wedding.
Touchstone’s beautiful but not very poetic or intelligent bride.
The First and Second lord keep Duke Senior company in exile in the Forest of Arden.