As You Like It

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Celia 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 that Rosalind can inherit her father’s throne when Duke Frederick dies. Celia then risks her own safety and family loyalty by accompanying Rosalind into the Forest of Arden after Rosalind is banished. Her capacity for romantic love, too, is proven at the end, by her engagement with Oliver.

Celia Quotes in As You Like It

The As You Like It quotes below are all either spoken by Celia or refer to Celia. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of As You Like It published in 2009.
Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Rosalind
Page Number: 1.3.21
Explanation and Analysis:
In a moment alone, Rosalind tells Celia that she is now overwhelmed with fear for both her father and her "Child's father", suggesting that she has two men on her mind: her banished father Duke Senior, and Orlando. Here, Celia tries to comfort Rosalind, telling her to control her emotions. The use of "wrestle" is playful, as Celia is referring to both Rosalind's internal struggle as well as the flirtation that transpired between Rosalind and Orlando after Orlando's wrestling match. Just as Orlando physically wrestled with Charles, so Rosalind must now wrestle with her own feelings for him. Even though they are cousins, Celia is a constant source of support and sisterly love for Rosalind. This is a tender moment leading up to the conflict that will occur between Rosalind and Celia's father. 
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Let’s away and get our jewels and our wealth together, devise the fittest time and safest way to hide us from pursuit that will be made after my flight. Now we go in content to liberty, and not to banishment.

Related Characters: Celia (speaker), Rosalind
Page Number: 1.3.140-145
Explanation and Analysis:

The Duke storms in and interrupts Celia and Rosalind's conversation, telling Rosalind that she is officially banished from the court. The two cousins are inseparable, however, and Celia refuses to remain in the court without Rosalind. They decide that they will flee to the forest of Arden, Rosalind disguised as a man and Celia disguised as a shepherd girl. Here, Celia tells Rosalind that they will not let themselves be "banished," but rather are leaving the city willfully in pursuit of freedom. Celia's loyalty to Rosalind supersedes her love and loyalty to her father and her inheritance. She would rather live a poor, happy life in the forest than a lavish life alone in court. Like in many Shakespeare plays, the city here becomes a symbol of oppressive social structures and edicts and the forrest and nature is a place of freedom and fluidity. 

Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!

Related Characters: Celia (speaker)
Related Symbols: Orlando’s Poems
Page Number: 3.2.195-197
Explanation and Analysis:

Dressed as Ganymede and a poor woman, Rosalind and Celia read the poems Orlando has posted onto the trees in the forest. The poems are extremely cliche and overly romantic, yet Rosalind doesn't seem to notice.

Celia then tells her that she knows who wrote the poems. She teases Rosalind by giving her hints, telling her that it is the wrestler Rosalind gave the chain to on their last night in court. She describes him as "wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful" and then tells Rosalind that the man who loves her is Orlando. Here, Celia once again pokes fun at Rosalind's passionate affection for Orlando. In this line she mimics the over-the-top nature of Orlando's poems. She also jests at Rosalind's ability to be blinded by love so much that she doesn't realize how corny the poems truly are. 

Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

Your brother and my sister no sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage.

Related Characters: Rosalind (speaker), Orlando, Oliver, Celia
Page Number: 5.2.33-39
Explanation and Analysis:

Oliver has fallen in love with Aliena (Celia). He asks his brother Orlando for consent, and, thinking he is going to marry a shepherdess- as opposed to a noblewoman- he decides to give his fortune to Orlando. As he exits, Rosalind enters and talks with Orlando about the unusual romance that has sparked between Aliena and Oliver. Here she reflects (both poetically and humorously) on the immediacy of their love as well as how deep it seems to be. 

Similar to Phebe, Oliver has been wooed at first sight and throws away all pragmatism to be with the woman he loves. The man who once valued wealth and esteem in the court more than his own brother is now giving away his entire fortune to be with a shepherdess. This indicates how much romantic love changes the entire world view of an individual, especially in the exaggerated action of the comedy.

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Celia Character Timeline in As You Like It

The timeline below shows where the character Celia appears in As You Like It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...adds that Rosalind, the banished duke’s daughter, has remained in court with her beloved cousin Celia (Duke Frederick's daughter), and that the old duke has retreated to the Forest of Arden,... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Celia coaxes Rosalind to be “merry.” Rosalind asks how she is supposed to feel merry given... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Rosalind, with renewed gratitude and merriment, goes on to ask Celia what she thinks of falling in love. Celia answers that she thinks of it as... (full context)
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Touchstone reports to Celia that her father desires to see her and makes various jesting side-comments. He remarks, for... (full context)
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Monsieur Le Beau, who is one of Duke Frederick's courtiers, enters, and Celia, Rosalind, and Touchstone continue jesting with him in the same vein. Le Beau tells of... (full context)
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
The upcoming opponent, Orlando, enters with Duke Frederick, Charles, and various attendants, and Celia remarks on how young Orlando looks. Duke Frederick confirms that he should not fight on... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...more insistent that he not fight: her own father dearly loved Sir Rowland de Boys. Celia and Rosalind congratulate and thank Orlando, and Rosalind gives him a chain as a token... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Celia begs Rosalind to break her silence. She jests, “Cupid have mercy, not a word?” Rosalind... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
Celia declares that if Rosalind is banished, she will go with her, maintaining her refusal to... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...that she’ll disguise herself instead like a man, given her height, and call herself Ganymede. Celia will call herself Aliena. They decide to bring along Touchstone, and Celia concludes their scheming... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...Frederick asking if anyone has seen his daughter and niece. The First Lord reports that Celia’s chambermaids put Celia to bed the night before but that her bed was found empty... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
On Celia’s request, Rosalind approaches Corin and asks if he has any food for Celia, who’s become... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Celia enters, reading another of Orlando’s tree poems, which describes Rosalind as the synthesis of all... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Celia recounts having found Orlando under a tree, dressed like a hunter. Rosalind comments that Orlando... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Rosalind confides to Celia that she feels like weeping. She is upset that Orlando did not come to meet... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Rosalind then tells Celia of having met with Duke Senior the day before and of him laughing at her... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Corin then enters and invites Celia and Rosalind to come witness the "pageant" of Silvius, whose helpless love Rosalind had been... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...mistress, Phebe, not to scorn him and compares her to a hardhearted executioner. Rosalind and Celia enter, in their disguises as Ganymede and Aliena, along with Corin, just as Phebe cruelly... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
After Rosalind and Celia leave, Phebe decides to keep Silvius around so she can talk to him about love.... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...died from love, and then she finally announces that she will love Orlando. She gets Celia to play the role of a priest in a play-acted marriage between the two of... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Celia criticizes Rosalind for portraying women so badly. Rosalind responds by gushing to Celia how much... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Rosalind (still disguised as Ganymede) is impatiently awaiting Orlando, who is now late. Celia suggests that he has gone to sleep. (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...the napkin to Ganymede so that he would excuse Orlando’s “broken promise.” Rosalind faints, and Celia tries to excuse it as an effect of the sight of blood. When Rosalind comes... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...fallen so instantly in love with her (we later learn “her” to be Aliena aka Celia). Oliver assures him that it is, and, in light of his engagement with Aliena (who... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Duke Senior, Amiens, Jaques, Orlando, Oliver, and Celia (as Aliena) enter. In response to Duke Senior’s questions about Ganymede’s promise, Orlando says that... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Hymen, the god of marriage, enters, with Celia and Rosalind at his side, dressed now as themselves. Rosalind presents herself to Duke Senior... (full context)