• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain how act 1 scene 1 prepares the audience for the actions that follow.

Extracts from this document...


Explain how act 1 scene 1 prepares the audience for the actions that follow. Act 1 scene 1 main purpose is to introduce the themes in the play, preparing the reader for the conflict between the contrasting outlooks of the characters. In the first scene we see the friendship groups between the characters also showing the potential 'lovers' from this initial description, Finding out who is friends with who can also give us explanations to who is going to defend each other and who may want to maliciously trick each other. Shakespeare also shows opposing traits between many characters, even between family members. Hero is polite, quiet, respectful, and gentle, whereas Beatrice is feisty, cynical, witty, and sharp. Similarly there is a contrast between Don John who has evil and deceptive intentions, and his opposite, Don Pedro, who is a loyal and noble person. ...read more.


Hero conforms to the patriarchal society of Messina, obeying her father unquestioningly, and behaving demurely, like a woman 'should'. Beatrice is older than Hero, yet unlike her cousin she is unwilling to conform. Feisty and assertive, Beatrice engages in intelligent wordplay, a 'merry war' with her male superior, Benedick, referring to him as "signor mountanto" a fencing term symbolic of the battle of words and wills the two share. Though their insults are biting, their ability to maintain such clever, interconnected sparring seems to illustrate the existence of a strong bond between them. The audience is prepared for the great contrasts in behaviour between the two women from the start of the play, and begins to expect a resolution involving the 'taming' of Beatrice. We can also assume by Benedick`s description of Beatrice that he does in fact find her more attractive then we first thought and he 'accidently' reveals he is attracted to Beatrice in comparison to that of Hero, she "exceeds in beauty". ...read more.


From first impressions we see he is constantly performs for the benefit of others, and indulges in witty banter with many to express his feelings. Claudio from the beginning seems deeply attracted to Hero, showing a romantic outlook with "soft and delicate desires". Unfortunately, his fickle and suspicious nature makes him quick to believe evil rumours, and he is hasty to despair and take revenge. He appears to love Hero, but the opinion of others changes his mind so we have to question if this relationship is genuine. It is also strange for us to see his love so quickly in the first scene, as he first notices "the sweetest lady I ever looked upon". Don Pedro insists on wooing Hero for Claudio himself, whilst masked, rather than allowing Claudio to profess his love to Hero first, "I will assume thy part in some disguise": this is the first introduction to the recurrent theme of appearance and reality. ?? ?? ?? ?? Charlotte Dawson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Compare closely Act 2/Scene 3 and Act 3/Scene 1. Look at the techniques used ...

    They are meant to be according to the play. The method Shakespeare used to match make Beatrice and Benedick is called 'Gulling', an Elizabethan verb meaning to trick or deceive someone. Both the gulling scenes are visible through the use of soliloquy which is when a character is talking alone,

  2. What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"?

    regarded amongst the people of the city, particularly when its rules or conventions are broken. Hero's disgrace at the altar is the perfect example of this, when under the false pretence that she was not a virgin Claudio, instead of marrying, dishonours and humiliates her in public.

  1. Compare the Representation of Women in Hamlet (primary text) and Much Ado About Nothing ...

    "Not allowed to love and unable to be false," David Leverenz points out, "Ophelia breaks. She goes mad rather than gets mad. Even in her madness she has no voice of her own, only a discord of other voices and expectations, customs gone awry".

  2. The dramatic importance of Benedick

    Benedick is inferior as he is held back by his mask, and dramatic irony is created in the sense that Benedick has no control over the situation, but Beatrice is aware of this and deliberately insults him; 'Why he is a princes jester, a very dull fool..'

  1. "Much Ado About Nothing"

    Unlike Hero, Beatrice refuses to compromise her true personality in the company of men. Her rebellious character is apparent to all, and her uniqueness is, surprisingly, accepted rather than stifled by the men around her. In lines 16-17, Leonato states: "By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue."

  2. What do we learn about the society of Messina in the play 'Much Ado ...

    He could mock the public figures, and the royalty, and even mock the Spanish for losing to England (Messina was part of the Spanish empire, and not too long before had the English defeated the Spanish - the Spanish Armada)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work