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Beatrice says of herself that she was born to speak all mirth and no matter. To what extent do you consider this to be a fair summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing?

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Introduction

Beatrice says of herself that she was "born to speak all mirth and no matter." To what extent do you consider this to be a fair summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing? Many would believe this to be a understated summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing because Beatrice is not just a humorous character but a strong role model for both Shakespeare's time and for a modern audience defying social expectations and being equal to her male counter parts, she is the heroin of the play and even though speaking "all mirth" which would probably be expected from a lead Shakespeare role, however she is much more that that. Beatrice has the most depth to her character in comparison to other characters than simply humour. Thus the statement not doing Beatrice justice as she has the most positive influence over the other characters. To an Elizabethan audience the story line of Hero and Claudio would be familiar because of the traditional views held by their characters, and so the audience would have expected Hero to be the romantic lead of the play. ...read more.

Middle

It is clear by Beatrice's dialogue that she can be antagonistic in her humour; "I wonder that you will be still talking, Signior Benedick: nobody marks you" (I.i.107-108). Her insults would seem nasty and offensive if not spoken comically, 'It should be spoken as the slightest raillery, with mirth in the voice and charm in the manner'.� Her humour in this way, although not solely part of her character, gives her a central role in the play and captivates the audience. Her humour identifies with the audience as although providing humour and entertainment we care for her as a character, we are more concerned for her dilemmas when she is not speaking comically. However it is important to identify that when Beatrice is speaking seriously it does not persist, as the character concerned fails to recognise her seriousness and assumes Beatrice is speaking simply 'mirth', when Beatrice exclaims; "kill Claudio!" and Benedick replies, "Ha, not for the wide world!" (IV.i.288-299) after Benedick asking "come, bid do anything for thee." It seems certain that Beatrice is being seriously if answering a question in request for anything to be done for her by her loved one. ...read more.

Conclusion

Benedick erupts with a number of hyperbolic aggressive images when describing Beatrice to Don Pedro. "That I was duller than a great thaw...that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations...she would infect to the North Star" (II.i.227-234). The metaphor switches from weapons to destroyed 'terminations' and then stating her infecting the North Star, going from one extreme to the next and eventually to the Greek mythological character Hercules and God. This heightened exaggeration and the prevalent punctuation which breaks up the sentence structure emphasises the negative mood of Benedict and the idea of him ranting sulkily. The effect of Beatrice on him is comical in this way because of his dramatic reaction. The word choice is also interesting possessing some underlying meaning. For example, it appears significant of the word 'endure' to be used a number of times. Beatrice states, "I could not endure a husband" (II.i.26), and Benedick exclaims "I cannot endure my Lady Tongue" (II.i.257-8). It would seem that these two statements parallel each other in the sense that the couple are drawn to each other which is implied by Shakespeare's choice of words. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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