As You Like It

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Ganymede Symbol Icon
Ganymede, whose name Rosalind takes on as part of her disguise, was a divine Trojan hero, described in The Iliad by Homer as the most beautiful mortal in history. In one myth, Zeus abducts Ganymede in an act that has since been recognized as an act of sodomy. The name’s mythical association with homosexuality further complicates Rosalind’s gender identity.

Ganymede Quotes in As You Like It

The As You Like It quotes below all refer to the symbol of Ganymede. 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 3, Scene 2 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Rosalind (speaker)
Related Symbols: Ganymede
Page Number: 3.2.307-310
Explanation and Analysis:
Orlando comes upon Rosalind and Celia in the forest—but they are dressed as Ganymede and a poor woman, so he does not recognize them. Rosalind decides to tease Orlando a bit to see how he acts, and to test the supposed strength of his love. She asks him the time and he says that he doesn't know. She then taunts him saying that he must not be a true lover, because a true lover sighs every minute and groans every hour, just as regularly as a clock ticks. By toying with Orlando and maintaining her disguise, Rosalind shows the audience that she has some control over her own love for Orlando. Orlando is also more casual and open with Rosalind in this moment because he see her as a fellow man, talking openly and freely about love. In many ways both find freedom in the role of Rosalind-as-Ganymede, as for the moment neither act like tongue-tied, foolish lovers.
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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. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.

Related Characters: Rosalind (speaker), Orlando
Related Symbols: Ganymede
Page Number: 3.2.407-412
Explanation and Analysis:

"Ganymede" and Orlando continue to discuss life and love. Yet Unbeknownst to Orlando, the young boy he is speaking to is actually his one true love Rosalind. She then taunts him, telling him that she would like to give some advice to the young man who keeps carving love notes on trees. Orlando reveals that he is the one doing so. She tests him, asking him if he truly loves Rosalind as much as he says he does. He replies by telling her that "neither rhyme nor reason" can express his love. She retorts with this quote, in which she claims that love is a disease that needs to be cured. (In Shakespeare's time, mental illness was often "treated" by locking the patient in a dark room or beating them—and here Rosalind suggests the same "cure" for lovers.) She then offers to assist Orlando in curing his love sickness by pretending to be the woman he loves and coaching him on how to manage his feelings for her. 

Rosalind finds freedom in her disguise, playing with Orlando and testing his love for her by calling his poetry a sign of madness. This also begins the relationship of Rosalind (Ganymede) as teacher and Orlando as student. She aims to teach Orlando to be a suitable lover for her while also spending time with him without the foolishness that love incites in both of them. 

Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, “Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”

Related Characters: Phebe (speaker), Rosalind, Silvius
Related Symbols: Ganymede
Page Number: 3.5.86-87
Explanation and Analysis:

After her tiff with Silvius, Phebe meets Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede). Ganymede tells her that she isn't pretty enough to behave the way she is behaving. It is this cruelty and criticism that causes Phebe to in love with Ganymede at first sight, not knowing that she is truly a woman.  

After Rosalind leaves, in a moment of great irony, Phebe turns to Silvius and says this line. Phebe, who was critical of love language just moments before, has fallen into the pit immediately, claiming that true love is love at first sight. Furthermore, when faced with love, Phebe's entire language shifts. She is no longer logical or pragmatic but is rather hopelessly and foolishly in love, finding Ganymede's scorn attractive, even romantic. 

Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were graveled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for lovers, lacking – God warn us! – matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.

Related Characters: Rosalind (speaker), Orlando
Related Symbols: Ganymede
Page Number: 4.1.77-82
Explanation and Analysis:

Orlando arrives late for his first lesson on love from Ganymede. Rosalind (as Ganymede) scolds him for missing their meeting that morning, and makes Orlando apologize to her as if she is Rosalind. She then asks him what he would do in this moment if she were Rosalind. Orlando tells her that he'd kiss her. Rosalind replies with this line, telling Orlando that lovers must always speak first and then only kiss when they run out of things to say. Once again, Rosalind finds great satisfaction in educating orlando under the guise of Ganymede. She finds freedom in her disguise and is able to speak to him in a way that she wouldn't be able to as a woman. This moment also reveals how hasty and dumbfounded Orlando is by his love for Rosalind. He immediately resorts to kissing as opposed to thinking and speaking. 

Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

[To Orlando] As you love Rosalind, meet. [To Silvius] As you love Phebe, meet. And as I love no woman, I’ll meet. So fare you well.

Related Characters: Rosalind (speaker), Orlando, Silvius, Phebe
Related Symbols: Ganymede
Page Number: 5.3.124-126
Explanation and Analysis:

All of the lovers unite in one scene. Phebe tells Rosalind (as Ganymede) that she is furious that "he" shared her letter. Silvius still pines for Phebe. Oliver loves Aliena (Celia) and Orlando is downtrodden at his inability to find Rosalind.

Rosalind quiets the group by explaining that the next day all will be answered (as she plans to reveal herself). She tells each of the lovers that they will meet the one they love as they really are. Once again Rosalind is the authority, the teacher of all things regarding love. Although the group doesn't understand how, they trust that she will bring all of their problems to a resolution. Yet it is important to note that she also maintains her leadership position because she is still thought to be a man. Her disguise has given her the freedom of manhood, the ability to lead. 

This moment also depicts the true chaos caused by Rosalind's disguise. Love has driven all the characters mad, and Rosalind knows that she cannot wait any longer to reveal herself. 

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Ganymede Symbol Timeline in As You Like It

The timeline below shows where the symbol Ganymede appears in As You Like It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 3
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Rivalry Between Relatives Theme Icon
...says 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... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
The scene opens with Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede) rejoicing in her merry spirits and Touchstone complaining of tired legs. Rosalind admits that she,... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Rosalind, dressed as Ganymede, enters, reading one of Orlando’s poems that she has pulled from a tree and is... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Rosalind (still disguised as Ganymede) approaches Orlando and asks what time it is. When he answers that he doesn’t know... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...love-swept poet who’s posted them. Orlando admits to being the very poet. Though Rosalind (as Ganymede) at first pretends to express doubts that Orlando is truly in love (just to hear... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...she feels like weeping. She is upset that Orlando did not come to meet with Ganymede (i.e. Rosalind in disguise) that morning as he had promised to. She alternates between speaking... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
...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 mocks Silvius’s "poetic" language of love,... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Rosalind (as Ganymede) steps forward and interjects with an extended insult directed at Phebe: she accuses Phebe of... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...around so she can talk to him about love. She gives a lengthy description of Ganymede’s attributes, equivocates on whether she loves or hates him, and then orders Silvius to deliver... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Fools and Foolishness Theme Icon
Jaques approaches "Ganymede," wanting to get better acquainted. Rosalind calls Jaques a “melancholy fellow,” and Jaques accepts the... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Orlando enters and Rosalind (dressed as Ganymede) scolds him for missing their meeting that morning, claiming that she’d rather have a snail... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Next, Rosalind (as Ganymede) tries to make herself (Rosalind) seem unappealing by promising Orlando that she will be jealous... (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... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...prayers move!” Celia says that she is sorry for Silvius, since his love now loves Ganymede. But Rosalind says that she has no pity for him since he loves someone like... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...happiness, but admits that he does not feel happy himself, because his mental imagination of Ganymede as Rosalind can no longer satisfy his longing for the real thing. (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
Silvius and Phebe enter, and Phebe says that she's upset that "Ganymede" shared her letter. Rosalind again tries to persuade Phebe to love her faithful shepherd, Silvius.... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...scene by telling everyone what will happen the next day: Orlando, Silvius, and she (i.e. Ganymede) will all be married; and she (i.e Ganymede) will satisfy Orlando, content Silvius, and marry... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...Jaques, Orlando, Oliver, and Celia (as Aliena) enter. In response to Duke Senior’s questions about Ganymede’s promise, Orlando says that he sometimes believes and sometimes doubts that it will come true.... (full context)
Deception, Disguise, and Gender Theme Icon
Country vs. City Theme Icon
When Rosalind (as Ganymede) and Celia leave, the Duke remarks that Ganymede reminded him of his daughter, and Orlando... (full context)
Romantic Love Theme Icon
...Rosalind.” At the sight of Rosalind, Phebe bids adieu to her chance at love with Ganymede. Hymen sings a marriage hymn, in which he says he will remove all confusion and... (full context)