In ACT IV,i,11.21-24, Rosalind (Ganymede) observes the economic predicament of Jaque, and how he has apparently sacrificed one thing (his own property) to afford another (travelling, or, seeing others’ property). Students will prepare written analysis of the principles of economic compensation in a personal or social (political) situation: e.g.,
a. buying a car vs. going to college
b. a mayor’s decision to create jobs vs. welfare
Students will then discuss the accuracy of Rosalind’s observation and the validity or necessity of Jaque’ s predicament, i.e., whether Rosalind’s observation is appropriate, judgmental, prejudiced, etc., and whether or not Jaque’s situation can be viewed from another perspective.
Rosalind (as Ganymede) says she can cure Orlando of his lovesickness for Rosalind if he will verbally act out his affections for Rosalind, as if Ganymede WERE Rosalind. To Orlando’s knowledge, Ganymede is, of course, a shepherd boy. Rosalind feels that Orlando needs instruction in the art of romance. Topics of discussion or written assignment:
a. one’s source of instruction in courtship, i.e., who is the appropriate instructor, when, how, and where does one, should one, learn to court?
b. Shakespeare’s use of transvestite-ism
c. graffiti (Orlando’s tree carving) as an expression of romantic affection, i.e., permanency and visibility.
Cf. “risk” involved if affair terminates
In ACT IV,ii & iii, Silvius is in love with Phoebe (who is in love with Ganymede). Silvius is used by Phoebe to carry her love letter to Ganymede (Rosalind). Ganymede tried to discourage Phoebe’s love by denying Phoebe’s authorship of the letter in the presence of Silvius. Silvius reports Ganymede’ s reaction to Phoebe’ s letter, to Phoebe.
Students should analyze the aspects of the triad romantic relationship of Phoebe, Silvius, and Rosalind (Ganymede).
a. role of the go-between
b. use of deception (malignant and benign)
c. compare the experience of rejection in Phoebe and Silvius, i.e., why the rejection, and how it effects the affair
d. Silvius’ blind, servile love, which leads him to do anything for Phoebe, even to be used as the agent in promoting a competitive affair.
Also, in ACT IV,iii, Oliver has been sent to find Orlando, Oliver encounters an angry lion. Orlando saves Oliver’s life, and is wounded in the process. Orlando sends Oliver to Ganymede for help. Ganymeded swoons (like a woman) at news of Orlando’s wound. Students will consider the topic of reconciliation, forgiveness, between Orlando and Oliver, as it relates to the inheritance, and, the dramatic circumstances which, perchance, bring about this more or less forced, crisis reconciliation.
Students can compare such crisis reconciliations as they may occur in the following circumstances:
a. funeral gatherings
c. reunions, family or school
d. automobile accident with former enemy
Consider a forced, circumstantial reconciliation with a premeditated design to be reconciled. Can both be genuine? Can both be insincere?