As Sally Potter describes Orlando as a creature of paradox, his/her character indeed embodies many qualities. He commences as a boy, he becomes a man, a lover, a woman,...etc. One can find perhaps the most fitting description of Orlando in a part of the book when he transforms to a woman in Constantinople: 'The sound of trumpets died away and Orlando stood stark naked. No human being has ever looked so ravishing. His form combined in on the strength of a man and a woman's grace.'
Orlando's meditation on struggles between sexes and the patriarchal society of the eras are very well documented and uncovered in both – the book and the film. 'Only parts of the essence of Orlando can become visible in each historical era, depending on what it is allowable for a man or woman to show and be.'