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Although Claudio and Hero are the central characters of the main plot, it is Beatrice and Benedick who really catch our attention. Why do you think this is?

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Introduction

Although Claudio and Hero are the central characters of the main plot, it is Beatrice and Benedick who really catch our attention. Why do you think this is? Shakespeare clearly shows the audience from the beginning of the play that Hero and Claudio love each other. Both characters play quite important parts in the play, but their characters are quite simple and plain. Beatrice and Benedick, however, are both strong, outspoken characters that appeal more to the audience, particularly when their love for each other is declared. Both have appeared to hate each other, making their love seem quite ironic. Claudio falls in love with Hero before he even knows her, when he says to Benedick that he would like Hero to be 'my wife'. This suggests that Claudio is inexperienced and still very youthful. This can be seen again, when he allows Don Pedro to wear the mask and woo Hero. Claudio idealises love, when he compares Hero to 'a jewel', suggesting that he likes the idea of being in love, rather than actually loving Hero. ...read more.

Middle

Hero represents the image of a typical woman who is about to be married, when she is anxious and excited, when she says how her 'heart is exceedingly heavy'. She returns to her quiet self, when the wedding is about to proceed, and appears shocked by Claudio's accusations, as she does not say very much. Hero 'blushes' when she hears Claudio, as she is innocent and shy. She does not defend herself, as it is not in her nature to do so. Beatrice is portrayed very differently by Shakespeare in the play. As Beatrice is an orphan, she does not have a father, whose rules she must convey to. This allows her character to speak and behave much more freely. Beatrice is very confident and defensive of herself, when she tells Benedick that 'a bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours'. This also shows how Beatrice is incredibly witty. A further example of this is when she says 'scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.' ...read more.

Conclusion

When Benedick realises that he loves Beatrice, he gives a very long speech, finding reasons why he should love her. His views change dramatically, when he says that 'she's a fair lady!'. He does not move out of character however, as he reminds the audience how 'the world must be peopled'. His soliloquy is very amusing and quite ironic, if compared with his previous emotions. In conclusion, Hero and Claudio's characters are both quite simple and typical of a courtly love relationship. Both are very na�ve and inexperienced, as they fall in love so quickly, making their story-line less interesting to the audience. The fact that both characters are quite weak and dependent on others means that they are less appealing than Benedick and Beatrice. Their characters are much stronger and entertaining, with the arguments that they have and their views against love and marriage. Both characters are very defensive of themselves, but the audience still sees the more sensitive and emotional side of them. This makes more them interesting and funny to watch, so that their story-line catches our attention more than Claudio and Hero's does. ...read more.

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