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In the world he creates in Much Ado about Nothing(TM) Shakespeare demonstrates above all the value of friendship as the strongest bond in life. Do you agree with this statement? In your answer you should include an examination of a l

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Introduction

In the world he creates in 'Much Ado about Nothing' Shakespeare demonstrates above all the value of friendship as the strongest bond in life. Do you agree with this statement? In your answer you should include an examination of a least two extracts from the play. When studying Shakespeare it is always important to examine the context that his work was written, Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan age, and age later called 'The Golden Age'. However it is essential to remember that the 'Golden Age' preceded the Age of Enlightenment. In fact Shakespeare was surrounded with a world of unexplained phenomenons as the entire concept of science was only just finding its feet in the world. As Shakespeare was writing there was no explanation for the content of the sky or belief of what was past it, disease went unexplained, and genetics was something far beyond the thought of any person living at that time. His era followed the aptly named 'Dark Ages' and even the most intelligent people could not offer any explanation beyond the supernatural and the existence of witches. ...read more.

Middle

Hero is using her friendship with Beatrice in a way that she hopes will improve the life of Beatrice. "I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband". She and Ursula walk through the orchard speaking in sonnets whilst Margaret is sent to fetch Beatrice as if she wants Beatrice to know that they are talking about her. "No truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; I know her spirits are as coy and wild as haggards of the rock.", "But are you sure Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?" For the duration of their conversation Beatrice is hiding behind a wall and can hear everything, as they leave she says "Can this be true? Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu!" By resolving to change he ways the Shakespearean audience know that her journey as a character is now complete and will lead to a happy ending. However when a similar entrapment involved Benedick his character did not change immediately and so the audience was aware that the play would continue adding suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice never once doubts the innocence of her friend and cousin Hero which shows a strong loyalty, commitment and friendship bond. Some feminist critics would argue that the ease of which Benedick agrees to kill his friend compared with Beatrice's unfailing belief in Hero's innocence is representative of Shakespeare's view of women as a source of stability. Other critics would argue that Benedick's decision to kill Claudio for Beatrice is simply a flaw in his character. Both extracts show the bonds of friendship and the way that they dictate the plot of the play. Hero entraps Beatrice and makes her fall in love with Benedick; her love for Benedick is what convinces her to ask him to kill Claudio to save Hero. It can be argued therefore that through friendship Beatrice and Hero save each other from unhappiness. It can be argued the Shakespeare does this on purpose in order that the two friends become invaluable to each other therefore representing the strong bond that friendship holds over life. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tabitha Scott 12N English 'Shakespeare - Friend' Essay Miss Burgess ...read more.

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