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

Much_Ado_About_Coursework-1.doc

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An exploration of the nature of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick and what it contributes to Much Ado About Nothing * * * The relationship between Beatrice and Benedick is a major contributor to several key oppositional themes in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It echoes themes of the difference between appearance and reality, love and hate, men and women, and deception and misunderstanding. In addition to this, their relationship contributes to the play's theme of double meanings, or multiple layers of meaning. It also provides humour and interest throughout the play, giving a secure background against which the gradually rising drama, the climax, and the resolution of the Hero-and-Claudio plot is played out. Beatrice and Benedick are at first presented as being in a constant "merry war" with each other - although in fact it is more Beatrice attacking Benedick than the two attacking each other. Indeed, the very first thing she says to Benedick is a provocative comment that "nobody marks" him. This is why Shakespeare quickly establishes her in Act 1 scene I of the play as a woman defiant against the contemporary convention of women being meek, submissive and modest. Hero's adherence to this convention is emphasised by the contrast of her and Beatrice. Not only does this stark contrast exaggerate Hero's character, it also amplifies that of Beatrice - something which will be important for the later development of her relationship with Benedick. ...read more.

Middle

Beatrice is determined not to marry and be "overmastered with a piece of valiant dust"; Benedick seems to firmly believe that marriage will make an "oyster" out of him, depriving him of what he is so proud of - his wit. And yet, the topic of love and marriage always seems to find its way into their conversations with each other and with other characters in the play. This is perhaps what prompts Don Pedro to propose the undertaking of "one of Hercules' labours" in Act 2 scene i: to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love with each other. The audience will probably notice that none of the other characters are reacting at all cynically. This is either another hint that Beatrice and Benedick already do love each other - as the other characters' lack of scepticism could be due to their premature awareness of Beatrice and Benedick's real feelings - or merely a further contribution to the play's theme of human folly - because Leonato, Hero and Claudio will accept anything Don Pedro the prince suggests. However, in the following scene Don Pedro's plan seems to work as he, Claudio and Leonato stage a conversation in which they claim that Beatrice is in love with Benedick, fabricate instances of Beatrice fighting with her feelings, and wonder at how it could be so, given their rudeness to each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

exchange, because in all of their previous conversations they addressed each other with the polite word "you" - despite all of their previous conversations being exchanges of insults (thereby giving them a sarcastic quality). Their integrity and respect is made more visible in this scene through the sudden change from the other characters' blank verse, to the pure prose in Beatrice and Benedick's conversation: the Friar, Leonato and Claudio are still composed, inhibited despite the melodrama of the situation, whilst Beatrice and Benedick's conversation is more focused on its own content. The relationship between Beatrice and Benedick contributes a playful sort of energy and vitality to Much Ado About Nothing which helps to make the play a comedy. This light-heartedness is shown in their battle of wits at the beginning of the play, and it even continues until the end when they mock each other and deny their mutual love. But this time their skirmish, instead of having undertones of bitterness, is a paradoxical expression of their deep love for each other. In order for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing not to be a trivial, generic drama, he needed for the plot to be more complex than the Claudio-and-Hero plot would be on its own. The Beatrice and Benedick subplot fills this vacancy so excellently - enriching the play with additional drama, interest, comedy and originality - that it is often confused as the main story within the play. ...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

    In "Much Ado about Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with a conventional and unconventional heroine ...

    5 star(s)

    hurtful rejection, she must learn to show the flexibility of a mature character in accepting the (supposed and then real) love of Benedick. At the end of scene in which Beatrice hears of Benedick's supposed love for her, and then accepts it in her own mind, Shakespeare has her speak in blank verse (III,i)

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

    As even suspicion of Hero doing such causes great controversy and trouble, and is near enough the sole cause of the rest of the problems in the play from then onwards. Whereas, when it is found out that it was in fact Margaret, the act is completely overlooked.

  1. Much ado about nothing exploring the relationships between Claudio and Hero & Benedick & ...

    However Benedick seems to be more cynical about marriage 'if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them in my forehead' Benedick refers to himself as 'sensible' implying that he is too intelligent and experienced, to give into the irrational ways of love 'I will live a bachelor'.

  2. Explore to what extent, if any, Shakespeare presents Claudio to be an admirable character ...

    What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!' Claudio is cursing marriage and women's unfaithfulness, as Benedick did earlier - the two have swapped their social allegiances and opinions. This change in Claudio's character, from his happiness upon confirmation that he would marry Hero to

  1. Shakespeare's presentation of Beatrice in Much ado about nothing

    Her vulnerability is underline when she says; ''O that I were a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake!'' The statement covers two major issues in the presentation of Beatrice, firstly her vulnerable nature in a world which is largely

  2. An Exploration Of The Theme of Deception In much Ado About Nothing

    When Antonio's men mishear Claudio and Don Pedro's conversation, and think it is Don Pedro, who will be proposing to Hero at the Masked Ball, "the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my Niece ,your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance", creates an ambience of confusion and nervous but excited anticipation by the audience.

  1. How Is The Theme Of Deception Apparent in Much AdoAbout Nothing

    This suggestion is further iterated in the following lines: The speech has echoes of Shylocks' speech in Act 3 Scene 1 of the Shakespearean comedy 'The Merchant Of Venice'; in that emotive speech by Shylock the audience was expected to feel sympathy towards Shylock, in the same way Shakespeare encourages

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

    In the early half of the play, Shakespeare depicts Beatrice as a staunch spinster who is deeply cynical about love. Through the use of simile Shakespeare elaborates the audience's understanding of Beatrice's scorn for matrimony. In the second scene, Beatrice offers her cousin Hero unsolicited advice about marriage, and cautions

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