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

Explore Shakespeares presentation of Beatrice and Benedick in the play so far. How do they contribute to the comedy?

Extracts from this document...


Denisa Miron Explore Shakespeare?s presentation of Beatrice and Benedick in the play so far. How do they contribute to the comedy? Much Ado about Nothing is particularly admired for the wit and intelligence of Benedick and Beatrice, the warring couple which are comically tricked into falling love. Benedick is a vain, confident bachelor who holds a very typical view of women: no lady is ever good enough for him and to increase his self-esteem, he never misses an opportunity to mock Beatrice. We can see this from their first conversation which takes place in Act 1. Benedick approaches her by saying ?What my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?? Through this, Benedick expresses his sarcasm towards Beatrice and his desire for her not to still be alive, mocking her existence in the conversation. Benedick is a character that represents vanity; he tells Beatrice ?but it is certain I am loved of all the ladies?. The use of ?certain? emphasises the confidence that he has within his character and creates an air of arrogance, as he obviously seems to believe that he is irresistible and that no lady would refuse his charm. However, he is contradicting himself ? he is loved by all the ladies, yet, he claims that he will ?live a bachelor? because he finds women as not being trustworthy, as he states ?I will do myself the right to trust none?. ...read more.


Benedick?s fixated ambition of always remaining a bachelor slowly dies as he hears the others talk about Beatrice?s love for him, creating comedy as his attitudes contradict. Before Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato begin to talk about Beatrice, he says ?One woman shall not come in my grace?rich shall she be, that?s certain: wise, or I?ll none: virtuous, or I?ll never cheapen her?. This suggests that he is ignorant towards the women and that he is pretentious when it comes to choosing one: unless the perfect woman comes in his way, he will not do himself the wrong to look or search for any. However, after he hears the men talk about how Beatrice is in love with Benedick but won?t tell, Benedick has a sudden change of heart. He says ?When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married?. This is comic because his attitudes to love have changed at an unexpected speed, which normally would not happen. Also, comedy is created through the fact that he has, involuntarily admitted that somewhere, deep down he was waiting for this to happen, even though he claimed that he hated Beatrice. ...read more.


This is humorous because she is making comparisons between animals and humans and it is unusual to say that you would prefer an animal barking over someone dedicating their love to you; it gives a sense of coldness in her personality and that she is completely closed to love. However, this is ironic because later on in the play, she falls in love with Benedick. In conclusion, most critics concur that Shakespeare's depiction of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick far surpasses that of Hero and Claudio in depth and interest. Scholars have often emphasized the fact that Shakespeare deliberately introduces the theme of the sparring mockers Beatrice and Benedick before the theme of the pallid romantics Hero and Claudio; and further, that when all of the principal characters are on stage together, the audience is drawn not to the tame love-at-first-sight relationship that develops between Hero and Claudio, but rather to the "merry war" between Beatrice and Benedick which later on in the play converts into a love relationship ? this creates comedy because the audience is taken through endless wars of insults and mockery until foolishly and involuntarily admitting their love to each other, changing the mood of the relationship through the work of other characters, instead of being lovers from the beginning. ...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 Much Ado About Nothing 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 Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Claudio-'a man of honour betrayed'?

    3 star(s)

    However, it is not a fair fight because women, unlike men, can not physically defend their honour. Hero's honour is betrayed, but there is little she can do about it. Claudio uses the metaphor "beauty is a witch", even before his relationship with Hero, Claudio started showing that he was

  2. Discuss in detail Shakespeare's presentation of women in Much Ado About Nothing

    She, like Beatrice, is outspoken and often seen as rude. However as Margaret is just a servant, Shakespeare uses this character for the lines that Beatrice could not get away with saying. The audience can more easily accept this rude and often suggestive (particularly when talking to male characters) humour.

  1. Shakespeare employs a wide range of literary techniques to define the characters of Beatrice ...

    The reference to a "blind Cupid" emphasises Benedick's belief in the irrationality of love. This brash and grossly exaggerated statement also accentuates the confidence in Benedick's belief that he is above falling victim to love. Near the conclusion of the play Shakespeare makes use of repetition which is crucial

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

    He causes havoc by plotting to frame Hero as unfaithful before marriage. Don John's companion Borachio is told to make love with Margaret who is Hero's serving women. The ploy is to bring Margaret by Hero's bedroom window so that she is mistaken to be Hero.

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

    Polonius is so sure that he is always right and so forces his self assurance on Ophelia. He forbids Ophelia to see Hamlet again and has so browbeaten her that, as David Levernez has said, "[Ophelia] has no choice but to say 'I shall obey my Lord'".

  2. Explore how Much Ado About Nothing uses the comic genre to allow Shakespeare to ...

    As well as this, Benedick later on says to Claudio, ?Fare you well, boy? I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour.? This evidence suggests that many other characters, as well as the audience see Claudio as an immature character.

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

    celebrities today who profit economically from advantageous marriages are proof that money based relationships still very much drive notions of love. Claudio is the typical Elizabethan romantic, beguiled into notions of chivalry by society?s stereotypical view of males as creatures honourable and confident and easily enticed into romantic love through

  2. Explore Shakespeares presentation of the Courtly World of Messina in the plays opening acts. ...

    it is therefore inferred that love is the domain of men, with the reference to a woman as a ?prisoner? reinforcing the passive, helpless female role. This point is further emphasized by the fact that most scenes are initiated by a male as this establishes the idea that men come

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