• 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 ...

    He is against love and marriage. In the scenes leading up to Act 2/Scene 3, mainly Act 1/Scene 1 and Act 2/Scene 1 the audience have realised that there is a history between Beatrice and Benedick as well as a mutual affection for each other, shown by Shakespeare in witty repartee.

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

    By the end of the play, Ophelia's insanity has completely overcome her and it could be argued that this is caused by the overpowering advice of others that has such controlled her life. One may see that this continually breaks her down so that she is no longer a character

  1. The dramatic importance of Benedick

    '...but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick all women shall pardon me...' Cuckoldry during Elizabethan era was not only shameful and unforgivable but it put down men's ego.

  2. "Much Ado About Nothing"

    As a modern day reader, I sympathise with this superior character, trapped in a period of oppression and restraint. Beatrice is portrayed as a complete contrast to the traditional upper class Elizabethan woman, in possessing qualities of outspokenness and feisty wit regardless of those in her presence.

  1. 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)

  2. Through comparing the relationship of Claudio and Hero with that of Beatrice and Benedick ...

    This shyness makes him appear to be an innocent, sweet lover but the truth is very different. When we witness Claudio?s mistrust after he has believed the rumour spread by Don John, ?I come hither to tell you, as circumstances shortened, the lady is disloyal?, we see Claudio as the inadequate, adolescent he really is.

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