A short note on the character of Orlando in As You Like It by William Shakespeare

In the story of As You Like It by William Shakespeare,  Orlando has all the good qualities of a gentleman. He is healthy, virtuous and gentle, self-educated, considerate to the weak, and strong against any kind of oppression. So he fulfills all the requirements of a hero.

Orlando is the bravest, strongest and noblest man in the story. He defeats a professional wrestler, rescues his brother from danger, and even forgives his villainy instantly. He is caring too and refuses to take a morsel of food till Adam is fed. Even the tyrant Duke Frederick initially seemed to have a lot of sympathy for him. The banished duke is not offended by his seemingly rude behaviour and readily agrees to offer his daughter’s hand later. He is also handsome as Rosalind falls in love even before knowing that he is the son of Sir Rowland de Boys.


Orlando also deserves our attention as a loyal lover. His love for Rosalind is pure. He is gentle in his behaviour. He has the strength of a giant but does not use it like a giant. His courteous behaviour adds to his heroic qualities.


Orlando is also a natural versifier. His pent-up emotions for Rosalind are released through his verses. He is always bright and cheerful and has a good sense of humour, otherwise, he would not have agreed to woo Ganymede as Rosalind.


Orlando has not received any formal education but he is self-educated. He readily apologizes to the duke for his rude behaviour, when the latter speaks to him in a soft tone. So all in all he is a typical romantic hero and his accomplishments are actually products of the Renaissance Culture.

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