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Much ado about nothing exploring the relationships between Claudio and Hero & Benedick & Beatrice!!!

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Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents the relationship between Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero? Shakespeare gradually during the play changes our perception of Benedick and Beatrice's and Claudio and Hero's relationship through; dramatic irony, verbal irony sudden plot twists and other dramatic devices that build up tension and ignite the audience's interests. First, looking at verbal irony, this is most apparent in the scene between Beatrice and Benedick, where the character Beatrice uses metaphorical language to describe Benedick 'no less than stuff'd man'. Beatrice implies that Benedick is a coward, a man of no substance or worth, a hollow man with no feelings. This suggests to the audience that Beatrice has been hurt by Benedick in the past. Similarly, Benedick, on his arrival, greets Beatrice with an insult. After she says to him 'nobody marks you', Benedick responds with mockery 'my dear Lady Disdain is you yet living'. he calls Beatrice 'disdain', a scornful woman who looks down on others, Benedick goes on to say that he is 'loved of all ladies' except Beatrice but claims that he 'loves none'. Beatrice responds that women everywhere 'ought to rejoice'. ...read more.


I did not think I should live till I were married' Benedick carefully rephrases his words, as he already has publicly declared that he will 'live a bachelor' and it would mean that Claudio and Don Pedro where right about him as the prince said that 'in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke', Benedick knows this and in his defence states ' but doth not the appetite alter' his final excuse in falling in love with Beatrice being that 'the world must be peopled' the audience can gather from this that Benedick has always deep down loved Beatrice, but just needed to be reminded of her good qualities which he hardly gets to see as they are in a war of wits with one another. The eavesdropping of the scene and the trick that's played on Benedick all add to the comical humour of the play. Shakespeare carefully constructs the staging of the play, so as to have the characters visible to the audience, Benedick who believes that he is over hearing the conversation, would probably be hiding behind a prop onstage and looking confused about what he is hearing. ...read more.


Claudio and Hero's relationship is unusual to the audience as they never speak to one another, except for at the altar where Claudio disgraces an innocent Hero 'give not this rotten orange to your friend' Claudio's callous choice of words used to insult Hero, leads the audience to believe that he cannot have really loved her in the first place, and this being the first time he directly addresses Hero is to vilify her supports the idea that Claudio is heartless. In the end Hero is exemplified as a truly magnanimous character, "and when I liv'd I was your other wife; and when you lov'd you were my other husband" Hero's forgiving nature and tender heart towards an undeserved Claudio, although this might have a different effect on the audience they might think that Hero is a weak woman as she has agreed to marry him after everything that's happened. Overall I found the play very dramatic and engaging, one effective feature I can identify which kept me amused was the verbal irony between the characters Benedick and Beatrice which was presented even till the end when they could not even admit their feelings for each other. ...read more.

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