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

Shakespeare employs a wide range of literary techniques to define the characters of Beatrice and Benedick and to illustrate their evolving attitudes and relationship in the context of love.

Extracts from this document...


The play Much Ado About Nothing is attributed to the eminent playwright William Shakespeare and is generally assumed to have been written in later years of the sixteenth century. This light-hearted comedy is set in Messina, a bustling port in Sicily, during the Elizabethan Era, a time when strict social conventions governed the way men and women were expected to act. Throughout this play, Shakespeare employs a wide range of literary techniques to define the characters of Beatrice and Benedick and to illustrate their evolving attitudes and relationship in the context of love. The effective manipulation of wit, metaphor and soliloquy allow Shakespeare to portray Beatrice as a strong-willed and outspoken noblewoman who challenges the gender stereotype of the time. Through the liberal use of simile, hyperbole and soliloquy, Shakespeare deftly constructs the protagonist Benedick as a witty, self-assured nobleman who initially scorns the idea of love but whose attitudes are challenged as the play progresses. ...read more.


Later in the play, Shakespeare uses soliloquy to inform the audience of Beatrice's transformation from spinster to woman in love. A clever ruse by the characters Hero and Ursula leads Beatrice to expose her true feelings about Benedick to the audience. After overhearing the conversation between Hero and Ursula, Beatrice is convinced that Benedick is passionately in love with her but unable to express his feelings. Beatrice then proclaims, "And Benedick, love on, I will requite thee... To bind our loves up in a holy band,"(3.1.107-116). The use of soliloquy allows the audience a glimpse of Beatrice's inner feelings towards Benedick. Beatrice's statements express to the audience the complete reversal of her previous attitudes towards love and marriage. By her willing acceptance of Benedick's love and the idea of matrimony Beatrice is also shown to conform to the social conventions that she previously ignored. During the first scene of the play, Shakespeare uses puns to depict Benedick as an arrogant yet witty misogynist. ...read more.


In the final scene, Benedick advises Don Pedro "Prince thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife.."(5.4. 114- 115). The use of repetition enforces the Benedick's new support of marriage and his assumption that matrimony has positively influenced his life. This sudden change of attitude contrasts strongly with his previous stance on the issue of love. Shakespeare positions his audience to view Benedick in a much more positive light as he has shed his misogyny for devotion to Beatrice. Despite the initial opposition of Beatrice and Benedick to the idea of love and each other, by the conclusion of the play through an elaborate ruse played out by their friends they are reconciled and even fall in love. In the play's opening scenes the pair are depicted as staunch bachelors exchanging barbed remarks and assaulting each other with their wit. The characterisation of Beatrice and Benedick and the transitions of their relationship from "merry war" (1.1.45) to happy couple are integral to the depiction of the play's message: that no one is immune to love. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. Compare the Representation of Women in Hamlet (primary text) and Much Ado About Nothing ...

    the opinions of the surrounding men, similar to the way that Ophelia bases all her personal decisions on information she is told from the men around her. Therefore, although her personality is unchanging, as she will always act respectfully and submissively to men, her image varies as the plot unveils.

  2. What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"?

    and communal regard, irrecoverably, since virginity could never be restored, and was seen as a sign of the woman's innocence. Moreover this loss of honour blemished the standing of an entire household, thus when Leonato believes Don Pedro's and Claudio's slanderous attack on Hero he endeavours to destroy her entirely.

  1. Free essay

    Analyse the way Beatrice and Benedick speak to and about each other, up to ...

    In Act Two, Scene One, Beatrice is dancing and having a conversation with a masked Benedick. It is not clear, and remains the decision of the reader whether Beatrice truly knows that she is speaking with Benedick. She goes on to describe him as "the prince's jester, a very dull fool".

  2. In view of what we know of Beatrice and Benedick from Act I and ...

    The same goes to Beatrice and Benedick at the reunion, except they do not stare at each other as if love struck but moreover as if they cannot wait to resume their 'merry war'. This feeling becomes quite obvious when Beatrice speaks almost instantly after Benedick enters the conversation, it

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

    Although this sudden change of opinion may appear as hatred, Beatrice feels forced to do this in order to take revenge, to disgrace Claudio to the same extent as he publicly disgraced her cousin. Act IV begins with Claudio and Hero's marriage.

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

    Baring this in mind, a contemporary audience would be more sympathetic with Claudio?s rash decision as they would share a better understanding of Claudio?s fear of shame. On the other hand, a modern audience would not be as sympathetic because social norms and values, especially gender inequality, has changed.

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

    love for her and his willingness to cement this ?love? in marriage. Elizabethan audiences would see nothing strange in his enquiring after Hero?s inheritance before he takes the blushing Hero?s hand in marriage, but from a modern perspective we find this gauche, although comparison with the high profile relationships of

  2. Explore Shakespeares presentation of Beatrice and Benedick in the play so far. How do ...

    she has said and that he is making ?something out of nothing? ? he is trying to block his emotional side and let the vanity take over, however it?s evident he cannot stand the assumptions Beatrice has made. Through this, Shakespeare creates comedy using Benedick?s contradictions regarding his self-esteem and

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