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For man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion Comment on Benedicks assessment of human character in the light of the events presented in Shakespeares play Much Ado About Nothing

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Introduction

Zoe Nunn "For man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion" Comment on Benedick's assessment of human character in the light of the events presented in Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing At the end of the play, Benedick makes a significant comment on the state of man, saying, "for man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion". This is a theme throughout the play, concerning the inconstancy of human nature and it shines a light on the lessons learnt by the major characters in the play, and asks that they be allowed to grow in maturity through their foolish mistakes and rash judgements. The first event in the play that portrays giddiness, and through it causes sudden changeability, is when Claudio declares his love for Hero. He has just returned from battle, and has only to lay eyes on Hero to fall madly in love with her. Before he left for battle, he had only looked on her with a "soldier's eye", one of lust, but now he declares, "she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on" with love. This is a very swift and impulsive change in his feelings towards her, and when the exchange is made by his kinsman Don Pedro, by wooing Hero for Claudio, Claudio wishes to be wed the next day, but is made to wait a week. ...read more.

Middle

This shows a great change in Leonato's relationships with others in the play. He firstly shames his own daughter, but then wishes to avenge her by challenging the man that was to wed her. His only relationship that stays stable is his brotherly relationship to Antonio. The only explanation for both Claudio and Leonato's irrational and unreasonable responses are their pride. They are both very proud men, and are both very embarrassed when they believe that Hero has been unfaithful and would stoop so low as to sleep with Borachio, and therefore do not want to be associated with such a shameful act in society. But they both believed the cunning and deceiving Don John, who is know for his evil ways, over the honest and caring Hero. This just proves the prejudice of that time, which favoured men over women, especially when the men were in a higher class. So maybe it is understandable that Leonato in the first instance believed the accusations against Hero, for why would two esteemed princes lie? But it does not excuse his betrayal of his own daughter when she needed him most. Another character that is very giddy is Benedick. By the end of the play, his perspective of life has changed drastically, from being a witty sardonic free man who didn't believe in marriage, he falls in love and becomes probably the most respected of the main characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are characters, which contradict what Benedick says at the end of the play, such as Hero.. She is constant; not uncertain or unbalanced, even when she is accused of infidelity. She stays composed even when hurt, and is innocent and pure. She does not seek revenge on Don John and she forgives her father and Claudio with no complaint. Her character could be seen as weak, as she has no independence and follows the bidding of the other characters. Another constant character is Don John. He is continually devious and unpleasant, and shows no remorse for his actions. He is also responsible for most of the events that cause change and disruption, and stays composed in his dishonesty. Beatrice is both stable and giddy. With Hero, she is always composed and serene, yet with Benedick she is confusing and irrational in her ways. She can be mocking and carefree, but when Hero is shamed she stands by her. I believe Benedick's assessment to be a good one; for the play and in life. For people are often unsteady and uncertain. This comment is very broad and can be interpreted in many ways, but it can be voiced at the end of the play to end in a light-hearted manner. For the events portrayed are imitations on life itself, and we can only laugh when they are over. ...read more.

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