“I would give him some good counsel”: Doctor Rosalind Dismantles Patriarchal Authority in As You Like It

Oct 12, 2021 | NURJ Online Volume 7

SAM NGUYEN 

Sam Lien Nguyen is a graduating senior in English and an education enthusiast. Her research lies at the intersection of gender, pedagogy, and performance. Through her work, Sam hopes to explore transformative education as a tool for social progress. In her free time, Sam enjoys reading, learning languages, and baking molten lava cakes.
Q&A

In a nutshell, what is your research topic?

My full thesis studies dramatic representations of female pedagogues on the early modern stage in Fletcher’s Love’s Cure and Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The condensed thesis examines only As You Like It.

How did you come to your research topic?

I’ve always been interested in education, especially education for and by women. The early modern stage has provided a site for subversion on many different levels and in many different topics, but especially on the topic of gender. Originally I’d wanted to study how women resist patriarchal orders in the role of students. However, as I kept exploring the two plays, I realized that women wittingly asserted themselves as teachers as well. My thesis was inspired by this observation.

Where do you see the future direction of this work leading? How might future researchers build on your work, or what is left to discover in this field?

My research lies at the rich intersection of gender, pedagogy, and performance, which is an underexplored topic. There is not a lot of scholarship on Rosalind’s position as a teacher in As You Like It, either. Future researchers can especially build on my investigation of the reversed pedagogical power dynamic (female teacher- male student). In the future, this work can spark a broader conversation about transformative education as a tool for social progress.

Where are you heading to after graduation?

I will be joining the Evanston Township High School community as a Design Thinking and Innovation Fellow.

    In December 2020, Joseph Epstein wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal calling for first lady Jill Biden to drop her honorific. “‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” wrote Epstein, suggesting that only physicians with an M.D., or Doctor of Medicine, are entitled to the title. Doctor Biden only earned an Ed.D., a Doctor of Education, “through a dissertation with [an] unpromising title,” so she should think again and “forthwith drop the doc.”1 Never mind that it reeks of misogyny and sarcastic condescension; the piece leaves me questioning whether Epstein fully comprehends what the doctorate signifies. The term “doctor” was originally a linguistic derivative of the Latin verb docēre, meaning “to teach.” Over time, it gained use as an academic title when the first doctorates were conferred in Europe, since those who have obtained a doctorate were qualified to teach or express an authoritative opinion. A physician, who had gone through a long university education,2 would therefore also be referred to as a “Doctour of Phisyk” (documented in Chaucer, Canterbury Tales Prol. l. 413) or “doctour of deth” (documented in Langland, Piers Plowman B. xviii. 362), to distinguish from their colleagues in church (Doctor of the Church) and law (Doctor of Law). Throughout its history, the term “doctor” has accumulated nuances, each gaining or losing salience depending on the context in which the term appears. These nuances are not mutually exclusive—on the contrary, they are closely connected, and the activation of one does not inhibit or negate the (linguistic) validity of others. So, Mr. Epstein, the answer to your question is yes, not only is there a doctor in the White House, but women have also assumed the title and role of doctor for centuries.

The inquiry into these varying resonances of the term “doctor” and their interplay is not merely a 21st century phenomenon: we can also see manifestations of it in early modern literature. The present essay focuses in particular on the maneuvering of the role and its various forms of authority in Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It. In this play, the main character Rosalind is a witty woman with a delightful tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. When she meets her love interest Orlando in the forest, she pointedly performs—literally so, for she remains in disguise as the young, male Ganymede during the majority of her interactions with Orlando—as both a teacher and a physician to shape him into the lover she desires. Throughout the play, she uses the two most prevalent resonances of “doctor”—physician and teacher—in parallel as roles to mutually bolster her authority and to infiltrate the patriarchal order. By doing so, Rosalind effectively ridicules and destabilizes the existing epistemological paradigm.

One salient moment in this pattern appears as soon as Rosalind sees Orlando in the forest, when she asks about the time and then demands to “tell” him about how time functions (III.2.314). Rosalind unapologetically rejects the Renaissance trope of “the swift foot of time,” which is often cited in early modern literature, especially in Shakespeare’s sonnets,3 and proceeds to explain that time moves at different speeds for different people. Her seemingly trivial question becomes highly productive when considered in conjunction with Jaques’s earlier musings on time and the different stages of maturation:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Then the whining schoolboy …

And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. (II.7.146-156, emphasis mine)

In this passage, “time” refers to one’s lifetime, which can be divided into seven stages: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon (or foolish old man in pantaloons), and finally, “second childishness and mere oblivion” (II.7.172). Thus, the concept of time in Jaques’s model refers not only to a point of existence measured in hours or minutes, but also to the broad idea of time as the continued progression of existence and events. This progression is not linear but circular: humans ultimately return to a second iteration of “childishness” and then finally quietus. Subsequently, Rosalind’s question can be understood as partially a query about where Orlando is in the stages of men: it is not just “what is ’t o’clock?” but “what is ’t o’clock with him?” The phrase “o’clock” also aptly evokes the cyclicity of time: etymologically an abbreviated form of “of the clock,” both the letter “o” and the image of the physical clock suggest a circular contour and movement. When read this way, Rosalind is feeling out what her role is going to be in making the clock move forward, essentially giving Orlando a placement test before writing a curriculum. As hinted, this curriculum is not going to be straightforward, for time itself is not linear, nor will Orlando’s progress be. Furthermore, if we use Jaques’s multi-stage model of time to assess Orlando’s level and progress, then Rosalind’s proposition to “give him some good counsel” is appropriate. Jaques’s description of a lover here aligns with what Rosalind later cites as cues to “know a man in love” (III.2.376-377). By dismissing Orlando’s claim to “loverness”—I offer my detailed analysis of this dismissal below—she positions him as a “whining schoolboy,” the stage immediately preceding lover (for it is clear he is no longer an infant “mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms” [II.7.151]). If this is so, Orlando’s earlier poetic declarations of love can be regarded as “whining,” and he the schoolboy “unwillingly to school.” This taxonomy provides the pedagogical imperative for Rosalind to rise to the role of the doctor (teacher) who can mentor Orlando to the next stage: lover.

At the same time, this opening motif of time initiates Rosalind’s process of “transgressive reinscription,” to borrow a term from Jonathan Dollimore: using irony or parody as “a mode of transgression which finds expression through the inversion and perversion of just those preexisting categories and structures …; a mode of transgression which seeks not an escape from existing structures, but rather a subversive reinscription within them—and in the process a dis-location of them.”4 In rejecting the conventional understanding of time as swift-footed and constant, and in providing humorously realistic evidence for her argument, Rosalind inaugurates her own system of knowledge independent of masculine poetics and courtly parameters. In this system, the foundation of Renaissance humanist education—that is, Latin language learning—is not the “puberty rite,” or the required condition for young boys to be inducted into an exclusive male tribe, as Ong would have it. Instead, Latin training is degraded into “the burden of lean and wasteful learning”—something that offers little reward for abundant effort (III.2.329). This trivialization5 of Latin also serves as a vicarious critique of institutionalized masculine learning and its various pedagogical methods as impractical and ineffectual in imparting transferable knowledge and skills.

In Rosalind’s system of understanding, the “natural” categories of male and female are also problematized, curiously, through the establishment of the categories of “lover” versus non-lover (or “loving yourself”). The Galenic model of anatomy proposes that men and women share anatomical structures, but “[women’s] lack of vital heat—of perfection—…result[s] in the retention, inside, of structures that in the male are visible without.”6 This means, among other things, that women’s genitalia and men’s are structurally homologous—with the vagina and ovaries corresponding to the penis and scrotum—except that women’s organs fail to extrude. In other words, women are men turned outside in. This model, later termed the “one-sex model” by Thomas Laqueur, contends that maleness is the telos of gestation, while femaleness is a form of incompletion. A sloppy or lay interpretation of this model, which disregards anything invisible or intangible as irrelevant, is the (in)famous use of “nothing,” such as in Much Ado About Nothing, as a slang for a woman’s private part, for she has “no thing” or lacks a penis. This phallocentric discourse perpetually confines women within a negative7 space: always lacking, always needing.8 In her conversation with Orlando, Rosalind sets out to invert this use of the negative:

Rosalind, as Ganymede     There is none of my uncle’s marks upon you. He taught me how to

                                                   know a man in love, in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.

Orlando                                  What were his marks?

Rosalind, as Ganymede      A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have                                                     not; a beard neglected, which you have not … Then your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve                                                       unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and everything about you demonstrating a careless desolation. But you are no such man.                                                         You are rather point-device in your accouterments, as loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other. (III.2.380-                                                           391, emphasis mine)

Here, instead of repudiating this patriarchal theory of women, Rosalind delegates the negative space to Orlando. In describing his not-a-lover mien, she reiterates the phrase “which you have not” four times and attaches the negative prefix un- to almost every adjective, emphasizing the lack that is, ironically, glaringly present in his accouterments. In the same way that Galen and other prominent early modern anatomists define the female body strictly in relation to its male counterpart, Orlando is interpellated in Rosalind’s epistemological framework as “no such man,” a non-lover who exists wholly in the un-s and the have-nots. Most interestingly, Rosalind’s standards for a proper lover, according to which she is critiquing Orlando, is a list of stereotypical images. After all, early modern English literature “abounds with examples of melancholy lovers, who burn with passion, die of breaking hearts, or simply waste away” (Dawson 12). Rosalind mocks both the (non-)lover (here, Orlando) and the trite depictions of a lover in their “careless desolation.” In the time of Shakespeare, Lesel Dawson explains, “while the clothing and bearing of the lovesick individual suggest that the symptoms of erotic melancholy were privately felt, the fact that this inwardness is expressed through recognizable conventions of posture, dress, and behaviour indicates the way in which lovesickness was a role performed as well as an emotion experienced.”9 That is to say, one must look and dress the part if one wishes to be considered as a serious lover. By using the popular lovesick tropes curated and often employed by male poets, Rosalind is not only ridiculing the superficiality of early modern expressions of love, but she is also using the master’s tool to dismantle the master’s house—that is, using the rhetorical devices of the male lovers against one of its own representatives (Lorde 110). This subversion of power is even more impressive when we recall that Rosalind is dressed as a man in this scene. While it comes at the (temporary) expense of her feminine expression, this male costume enables her to enter the male society and effectively manipulates masculine authority in her favor. As the plot progresses, Rosalind becomes even more explicit in her criticism of the tropes of lovesickness and the poetic rhetoric of attributing men’s demise to women, a point I will return to momentarily.

Eventually, Rosalind concludes that Orlando appears to be “loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other,” condemning his expressions as rooted in narcissistic infatuation rather than love. One may note that the few characters whom Orlando speaks of and/or interacts with in the first act are all men: his father, brothers, their servant Adam, Charles the wrestler, Duke Frederick, and Le Beau. There is no mention of a mother or any female figure before his acquaintance with Rosalind and Celia in Scene 2.10 Thus, as far as we can observe from the text, Orlando has always been contained within a male circle; and yet, he was never truly a part of that exclusive community, for he lacks “all gentlemanlike qualities” (I.1.68). Already, even as a man in this “man’s man’s man’s world” (in the words of singer James Brown), Orlando is a liminal figure who fails to be positively defined: though he tries to assert himself as the son of a Sir Rowland de Bois, others—including the audience—know him as a man who lacks gentlemanlike behaviors and therefore a social position. Rosalind’s suggestion about his narcissism might therefore be underscoring Orlando’s confinement within the masculine homosocial circuit, thereby implying that the socially constructed wall of masculinity is accountable for his “negativeness.”11

At the same time, Rosalind’s conclusion about Orlando’s neat appearance also hints at her reason for remaining cross-dressed even in the safety of the forest. As Marjorie Garber suggests, “As the lessons she gives to Orlando immediately testify, Rosalind does not have to learn much, if anything, about love, or the quality and depth of her own feelings” (Garber 104). In fact, it is Orlando who needs an education, who must learn “what ‘tis to love” (V.2.87). By electing to be “caparisoned like a man,” Rosalind upends the expected patriarchal pattern of a father or husband educating his wife and daughter and offers a reverse paradigm of the female schoolmaster and male pupil. She dresses in male attire so that she can be liberal with her criticism and fashion Orlando into the lover that she desires, rather than a “point-device” man primarily concerned with “loving [him]self.” The phrase “point-device,” which appears most frequently in relatively staid texts of the period, such as chronicles of monarchs or discourses on scripture, connotes the quality of being “perfectly correct or precise, esp. in matters of dress or appearance; scrupulous, neat, fastidious” (OED, “point-device” adj.). Nevertheless, there seems to be significant support for reading “point-device” as a double entendre: “point” being a possible euphemism for the phallus and “device” meaning “will, pleasure, inclination, fancy, desire”—as in “leave one at one’s own device” (OED, “device” n., 3.a). Combined, this phrase could mean punctilious, neat, and meticulous, but it could also be interpreted as “at the pleasure of your penis.” The disconcerting implication that follows is the association of perfection and correctness with phallic desire: the receiving partner in a sexual act is somehow deficient, and her “no-thing” can only be made perfect through the presence of the phallus. By this logic, we may understand Rosalind’s mockery of Orlando’s appearance as, indirectly, a double critique of phallocentricism and narcissism. Once again, we see how Rosalind wields her new masculine power to undo the inveterate mindset of male prerogatives for her benefit.

Through their conversation in Act 3, Scene 2, Rosalind also makes clear her intention to draw on the medical connotation of “doctor” and perform as a physician in their relationship. When asked to recount some of the “principal evils that [God] laid to the charge of women,” she immediately refuses: “No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that are sick.” However, she also opens up an opportunity for Orlando to enlist her help: “If I could meet that fancy monger [who worships Rosalind], I would give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him” (III.2.364-372). Here, not only is Rosalind claiming to possess some “physic” that she will bestow upon the “sick,” she is also diagnosing Orlando with the “quotidian of love,” in which “quotidian” is short for the quotidian fever or quotidian malaria. Figuratively, “quotidian” also denotes a state of emotional or nervous agitation (OED), a fitting understanding of love in physiological terms. Then she goes on to validate her diagnosis and qualifications as a physician by listing the symptoms of love in the passage cited above. The seeming medical checkup concludes with her naming the disease (“Love is merely a madness” [III.2.407]) and offering a treatment plan (“Yet I profess curing it by counsel” [III.2.412]). This entire exchange follows an almost methodical process of medical examination, further highlighting Rosalind and Orlando’s dynamic as doctor and patient. 

Importantly, Rosalind also invokes Galenic physiology later when detailing her proposed cure: “… and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep’s heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in ’t” (III.2.429-431, emphasis mine). Her reference to the liver recalls humoral theory, which “assumed connections among bodily fluids, the four elements, and the seasons, leading to a theory of temperaments or bodily dispositions and psychosomatic phenomena.”12 During the Renaissance, lovesickness was considered a serious physiological affliction. Galen himself treated love as a disease. Lovesickness was said to have resulted from an imbalance of the humors, especially excessive heat and blood. In the scene in question, Rosalind’s invokes the Galenic understanding that blood was produced exclusively by the liver. Shakespeare could also have been influenced by Marsilio Ficino’s model of lovesickness as a pathological form of desire. According to Ficino, lovesickness is the result of an “enchantment” or “bewitchment,” a pathological sequence of erotic melancholy in which the eye, wide open and fixed upon someone, shoots the darts of its own rays into the eyes of the bystander, and along with those darts, which are the vehicles of the spirits, aims that sanguine vapor which we call spirit[.] Hence the poisoned dart pierces through the eyes, and since it is shot from the heart of the shooter, it seeks again the heart of the man being shot, as its proper home; it wounds the heart, but in the heart’s hard back wall it is blunted and turns back into blood. This foreign blood, being somewhat foreign to nature of the wounded man, infects his blood.13

Thus, the lover becomes sick with alien blood, which must be cleansed through the liver. What we learn from Galenic humoralism and Ficino’s explanation of the origin of lovesickness is that the liver is a key organ in the understanding and cure of the malady, and that by promising to “wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep’s heart,” Rosalind simultaneously demonstrates her in-depth knowledge of Galen and consolidates her prestige and authority as an erudite doctor (physician) fluent in the medical language of the time. 

Having successfully asserted her position, Rosalind takes advantage of her medical authority as leverage for her role as an educator: she proposes to cure “by counsel,” which is to say, by instruction.14 This recommended remedy appears to run counter to Galen and the humoralists. During the early modern period, there were four prominent ways to redress lovesickness: “two physical treatments—phlebotomy (or bloodletting) and sexual intercourse—and two mental or psychological cures—trickery (or performative healing) and humiliation” (Dawson 163). Out of these four, Rosalind’s suggestion that Orlando pretends to woo Ganymede as Rosalind appears to align most closely with trickery, “which is aimed at dislodging the sufferer’s mental fixation [and which] suggests how the lover is enraptured not by the actual beloved, but by an internal vision.” In trickery, early modern physicians would “collude with the patients’ aberrant imagination to effect a therapy.”15 As a result, the patients who undergo trickery may be relieved of their greater afflictions (such as lovesickness), but they never fully overcome their own mental fixation. Rosalind’s “counsel,” too, relies on this idea of imaginative therapy as she offers a subtle mockery of Orlando for not recognizing his beloved in disguise, even after her rather frequent hints.16 However, Rosalind’s trickery is innovative (and perhaps even poses a counterargument to Galen) for three reasons. Firstly, Rosalind’s proposal to help Orlando is anything but altruistic, nor is her goal necessarily to cure him. It is for her sake that she sets out to arm Orlando with knowledge of herself and her preferences in love, thereby training him to become lovelorn in the particular way that will suit her. Secondly, Rosalind requests that Orlando view her (posing as Ganymede) as his beloved so that he can practice wooing her (Rosalind), and she can teach and give feedback on the spot. Their play-acting courtship serves as exercise in the art of love; it adds an experiential component, which Jeff Dolven has illustrated to be potentially powerful.17 Thirdly and most importantly, Rosalind’s cure by instruction brings in the pedagogical overtone of “doctor” in conjunction with the present medical connotation of the term. In this manner, Rosalind appeals to all the available resonances and authorities accrued to the title in order to achieve her goal: she must cure by teaching in order to reconfigure Orlando and revolutionize his whole understanding of love.

These two resonances of doctor prove to be mutually reinforcing and conducive to Rosalind’s transformation of Orlando. In the popular scene of instruction in Act 4, Scene 1, she returns to the topic of lovesickness in her lesson:

Rosalind, as Ganymede    No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man                                                           died in his own person, videlicet, in a love cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club, yet he did what we                                                   could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year though Hero had                                                     turned nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night, for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the                                                                     Hellespont and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of the age found it was Hero of                                                           Sestos. But these are all lies. Men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love. (IV.1.99-                                                           113,  original emphasis)

 

As part of her lecture on love, Rosalind debunks the myth that love can lead to death, as poets and medical practitioners of the time contended. In her system of knowledge, men die because of love only by proxy—that is, lovesickness might instigate actions that lead to death, such as “[having one’s] brains dashed out with a Grecian club” or “being taken with the cramp and … drowned” when swimming. Ironically, she exploits her title as a doctor in the Galenic tradition to debunk the Galenic myth about the fatal power of lovesickness. Simultaneously, this comment reinforces her expertise as a teacher and extends her earlier criticism of the overused lovesick tropes. Now going beyond merely listing clichéd representations of the lover, Rosalind employs her knowledge of the poetics and calls out the histrionic romance heroes by name: Troilus of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (and/or of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde) and Leander of Christopher Marlowe’s Hero and Leander. It’s especially tempting to understand Rosalind to be including Shakespeare among the male poets whose exaggerated rhetoric she mocks: an authentic moment of master’s tools dismantling the master’s house!

Rosalind also goes so far as to label the “chroniclers of the age” foolish and their depictions of lovelorn men as “all lies.” There might also be a sexual double entendre in the word “die,” for orgasm is also termed la petite mort, or “the little death.” With this definition, Rosalind’s concluding remark could be interpreted as a lampoon of men’s carnal desire: they have attained sexual release from time to time, but they have never done so for love (rather than for pure pleasure). Moreover, I identify in her speech a subtle commentary on gender discourse: women would be blamed for the tragedies of men, even if they “had turned nun.” Speaking as a woman, Rosalind might be dismissed as transgressive, defensive, or even hysterical. Speaking as a man, however, she can meaningfully exercise the prerogatives exclusive to the male society to push back on gender discrimination. Her successful masquerade as Ganymede attests not only to the gender-specific nature of early modern pedagogy but also to Rosalind’s mastery over what she teaches and to her strategic understanding of when different gender performances are conducive to her aims. Once again, she employs the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house; however, this time, the employment is threefold: a Galenic doctor refuting a Galenic doctrine, a schoolmaster mocking poetic banality, and a man ridiculing masculine clichés.

In dressing up and performing as a man, in assuming the varying postures of professional authority subsumed under the umbrella term doctor, all of which were exclusively male prerogatives, Rosalind fashions a new pedagogical and epistemological system that works to overturn existing patriarchal beliefs through transgressive reinscription. In the same way Genevora performs multiple roles in Love’s Cure, so too does Rosalind perform multiple genders and positions. Her characterization foregrounds the contingency of performance: she chooses to be a man or a woman, a teacher or a physician, depending on context. Through her arrogation of the multiple roles of “doctor,” Rosalind exerts a subtle but meaningful shift in the power dynamics of romantic and pedagogical interactions, and invites us to question our normative assumptions about power and authority in early modern relationships, both erotic and instructional. 

Footnotes

1. Epstein 2020

2.  Not every medical practitioner in early modern England earned the title of doctor. In fact, only physicians, who had received extensive training and schooling in universities, were singled out for the appellation. This was because university education not only transmitted knowledge about healing but also trained students in cultivating and exercising their good judgment and advice, two crucial concepts in establishing professional authority. For further discussion, see Cook 1994.  

3.  Two examples: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 19: “Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet,/ And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time”; and Sonnet 65: “O fearful meditation! where, alack,/ Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?/ Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?” (emphasis mine).

4.  Dollimore 1986

5.  Isn’t it ironic that I’m using this Latinate word to describe Rosalind’s disapproving attitude toward Latin? Perhaps the more profound point lurking in this playful question is that although Rosalind can play with and partially subvert the patriarchal structures in which Latin reigns supreme, there is no way to entirely get around it. In fact, as I have repeatedly demonstrated, it is not her goal to escape or transcend the system; she is more concerned with revealing the loopholes that can pervert it.

6.  Laqueur 2003

7.  Throughout this section, I will primarily be using the OED definition of “negative” as “consisting in, characterized by, or expressing the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features; devoid of or lacking distinctly positive attributes” (adj., 4.a).

8.  This phallocentric paradigm continues to reverberate through time. In the 20th century, Freud reports “that the feminine occurs only within models and laws devised by male subjects” (quoted in Irigaray 1985). He notes a sociolinguistic discourse that defines females in the negative, that is, as Elizabeth Grosz (1994) notes, “[the] sociolinguistic inscription of women’s bodies [as castrated] must be seen as the unspoken condition of the attribution of men’s phallic status: it is only if women’s bodies lack that men’s bodies can be seen to have.”

9.  Dawson 2008. Melancholy also became increasingly fashionable for men in England, partly in an attempt to manipulate and rearrange the climatological mapping of the humors to make northern (Anglo-European) people more balanced and sensible than the southern (African) people. For further discussion of ethnological humoralism and the fashionability of melancholy, see Chapter 3 in Floyd-Wilson 2003.

10.  For a more in-depth discussion of how motherhood is, or pointedly is not represented in Shakespearean dramas, see Rose 1991.

11.  I have decided against using “negativity” as the noun for negative here, since I do not want it to connote an attitude, emotion, or expression of criticism, pessimism, or unpleasantness. Throughout the paper, I will instead be using “negativeness” as the noun for “negative,” strictly in the definition that I have provided in footnote 7 (OED adj., 4.a).

12.  Baltussen 2010

13.  Ficino 1985. For further commentary on Ficino and others’ theories of the etiology of lovesickness, see Dawson 2008.

14.  “Counsel” here can also be understood as advice, which sets Rosalind apart as a physician in the medical profession from other medical practitioners (such as apothecaries or surgeons). Harold J. Cook (1994) elaborates, in early modern England, “[the physicians] linked their professional authority to two key concepts, judgment and advice… Good judgment and advice were considered to be attributes of character at least as much as knowledge.”

15.  Dawson 2008

16.  Marjorie Garber (1986) also hints at Orlando’s psychological state of self-absorption and inability to recognize Rosalind, though Garber never uses the terms “trickery” or “mental fixation.”

17.  For a discussion of Experience, see Chapter 4 in Dolven 2007.

Works Cited
Baltussen, Han. 2010. “Galen.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordreference.com/.


Cook, Harold J. 1994. “Good Advice and Little Medicine: The Professional Authority of Early Modern English Physicians.” Journal of British Studies 33 (1): 1–31.


Dawson, Lesel. 2008. Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.


Dollimore, Jonathan. 1986. “Subjectivity, Sexuality, and Transgression: The Jacobean Connection.” Renaissance Drama 17: 53–81.


Dolven, Jeffrey Andrew. 2007. Scenes of Instruction in Renaissance Romance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Epstein, Joseph. 2020. “Opinion | Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not If You Need an M.D.” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2020, sec. Opinion. https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-there-a-doctor-in-the-white-house-not-if-you-need-an-m-d-11607727380.


Ficino, Marsilio. 1985. Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love. Translated by Sears Reynolds Jayne. 2nd rev. ed. Dallas, Tex: Spring Publications.


Floyd-Wilson, Mary. 2003. English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama. Cambridge, U.K.; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.


Garber, Marjorie. 1986. “The Education of Orlando.” In Comedy from Shakespeare to Sheridan, edited by A.R. Braunmuller and J.C. Bulman. Newark: University of Delaware Press.


Grosz, Elizabeth. 1994. “The Hetero and the Homo: The Sexual Ethics of Luce Irigaray.” In Engaging with Irigaray: Feminist Philosophy and Modern European Thought, edited by Carolyn Burke, Naomi Schor, and Margaret Whitford, 335–50. Gender and Culture. New York: Columbia University Press.


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