One of the most important aspects in “Much Ado About Nothing” is the story of love. It is often the basis for what transpires throughout the play and can most easily be seen through the relationships between Hero and Claudio, and Benedick and Beatrice. During the play the reader learns a lot about these couples as well as how they possess some of the same relationship traits whilst still seeing the obvious disparities between them.
Benedick and Beatrice represent a “love/hate” relationship. They share many things in common and both are cynical of love and marriage. They are witty intellectual and not at all shy, which leads to many wars of words between them. In the beginning of the novel, the hate between this eventual couple is evident. Beatrice says to Benedict, “I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor / Benedict. Nobody marks you”. Benedict comes back with, “What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet / living?”. Although Beatrice and Benedict may have no idea; the fact that they love each other must be evident to the rest of the characters. Otherwise, their friends and family would not have tricked them into admitting their love.
Claudio and Hero represent a more romantic relationship. Claudio finds himself in love with Hero upon coming back from battle and he is not ashamed to admit his love for her. “I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife”. This leads to Don Pedro assisting in Claudio’s proposal and gaining Leonato’s acceptance. Claudio and Hero’s love is mostly based on looks, since they did not know one another very well before Hero accepts Don Pedro’s proposal to marry Claudio. The fact that they don’t know each other means that there is little trust between them and this is exploited when Hero is accused of being unfaithful. Claudio is also extremely gullible and jealous and that is why he shames Hero at their first wedding.
Although there are many differences between the two couples there are also some similarities. Both couples had to deal with obstacles that they would not have overcome without the help of others. Beatrice and Benedict would still be arguing if their friends did not trick them into thinking that they were in love with each other. They would not have realized that their constant bickering with each other translated into loving emotions. Claudio and Hero’s relationship is broken when Hero is accused of being unfaithful but with the help of Dogberry and Verges, it is revealed that the accusations are not true. This allows Claudio to clear Hero’s name and marry her in the end. An obvious similarity between the relationships is that they both accomplish love.
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English Essay- 500 to 550 words Characters of Beatrice and Benedick The relationship between Beatrice and Benedick develops throughout the early stages of Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare. Past encounters between the two characters ignites a skirmish of wit between the two where they attempt to get inside each other’s head. The wittiness used by Beatrice and Benedick also suggests that there is a deeper meaning behind what they say and that they are deceived by their own foolishness.
When we are first introduced to Beatrice and Benedick we learn of the ‘merry war’ between them. This skirmish of wit that occurs invokes past encounters. The two exchange a volley of sly and witty comments. As Beatrice ‘knows [him] of old’ she believes that Benedick is a ‘crow’ and is no more than a ‘very dull fool’. On the other hand, Benedick’s ‘commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy’. Benedick chooses to snipe at Beatrice and ‘always ends with a Jade’s trick’. These exchanges of witty comments between the pair suggest that there is a deep tension between them.
It is revealed of the start of the play that the pair new each other ‘of old’, they were in a relationship and that this ‘merry war’ was expected of them in the Shakespearian society. The comments that are exchanged during this ‘merry war’ suggest that there is a deeper meaning behind their witty remarks and that their relationship could be far more meaningful then it currently is. This skirmish of wit between the two is deceptive. They do not want to show their actual feelings for one another.
Beatrice believes that Benedick’s supposed image of himself being ‘loved by all ladies’ is full of arrogance and extremely unlikely. However this link between Benedick and his love for Beatrice portrays the idea that she may indeed have feelings for Benedick and that he is not just a ‘beast’. Although Beatrice’s comments are ruthless and unforgiving, we get the feeling that because of the wittiness of them and the tone of her voice that she doesn’t really mean them and that she is afraid of opening up about ‘loving’ Benedick.
The two also share the same opinion about love, Beatrice would ‘rather hear [her] dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves [her]’, this is one of the very few qualities that Benedick admires about Beatrice and that she should ‘keep [her] ladyship in that mind’. This reference to love by Shakespeare gives a sense of anticipation that there are feelings between Beatrice and Benedick that are to develop throughout the play.
The ‘merry war’ between Beatrice and Benedick is unwanted and unhealthy for both Beatrice and Benedick. It is obvious that both characters have strong feelings for one another and they are just deceiving themselves if they think otherwise. I think that Beatrice and Benedick are better off when they are together, like at the end of the play. With the feelings that Beatrice and Benedick feel for each other I do not believe that this ‘merry war’ could have continued. Word Count= 507 words By Elliot Lewington
Author: Brandon Johnson
Much Ado About Nothing- Beatrice and Benedick
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