PLAYING ROSALIND AS A GIRL. The Shakespeare on the Sound production of As You Like It persuaded me that the play works best when Rosalind, in disguise as the young man Ganymede, remains an attractive young woman. It seems to me that other productions have tried to make her portray a convincing young man and have sought to get humor from her struggles to be masculine. This approach seems to be a traditional one: Tony Tanner quotes Henry James as referring to her as “the mannish Rosalind”. It turns out that there are more opportunities for humor with a charming girl in unusual situations. It makes sense. The text of the play gives little scope for encounters with characters who are suspicious of Ganymede’s true gender. And having a boy actor playing a woman who pretends to be a man should not generate much humor. The result in Shakespeare’s time would have been a boy playing the man Ganymede. Hardly incongruous or amusing.

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