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At the end of the play Benedick reflects that "…man is a giddy thing". Referring in your answer to two or three key scenes in the play explain why events in Messinamight lead him to that conclusion.

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Introduction

At the end of the play Benedick reflects that "...man is a giddy thing". Referring in your answer to two or three key scenes in the play explain why events in Messina might lead him to that conclusion. In order to address this question I feel it is necessary to define what exactly Benedick means when he uses the word "giddy". In dictionary terms "giddy" is described as mentally intoxicated, incapable of attention, excitable, frivolous, inconsistent and flighty however when we look at it in the context of the events that take place in Messina I feel it is referring more to someone weak in character, judgemental, fickle, foolish, capricious, irresolute, unpredictable and impulsive. The community of Messina is a very self contained one, concerned less with the outside world than the preservation of its own superficial values. The only glimpse we get of life outside of Messina is in the opening scene when Don Pedro and his companions return from battle; even here the characters involved seem more concerned by the fact that those lost in battle were "none of name". ...read more.

Middle

Reliance on the appearance of a situation leaves one vulnerable to misjudgement and can detach a person from the truth. Even though Beatrice and Benedick's actions in these scenes can be regarded as "giddy" it is relevant to note that they both show the ability to reason a difficult or divisive situation. After Beatrice has successfully been gulled she shows that she is able to think for herself. "I believe it better than reportingly." Her language here reflects composure as does the steady, regular rhyming of the text which has an ABAB rhyme scheme and is brought to a close with a Para rhyming couplet. This tight structured composition of language with its soft toned ending containing stressed constantans such as p's and b's depict Beatrice as an image of collected calmness. Benedick shows great integrity and strength of character in the ........? Also in their defence, some will argue that the feelings of affection that Benedick and Beatrice display subsequent to their gulling has been felt by both throughout the play and it is only now that they have been voiced due to the denial of their true feelings. ...read more.

Conclusion

His actions are brash and presumptuous and his attitude bitter. Leonato's reaction to Claudio's declaration of Hero's infidelity is egocentric and disloyal. He too disbelieves Hero despite having no evidence, instead of consoling and defending her he verbally attacks her with venomous language, "Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes", "Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes" He is more concerned with his own Honour than the wellbeing of his daughter, his judgements are unfounded and cruel and if when Benedick referred to man as "giddy" he meant irrational and self-centred then here Leonarto is the epitome of giddy. At the end of the play it is with great accuracy that Benedick reflects that "...man is a giddy thing" as events in Messina have proven. Shakespeare have developed the names whom we, at the beginning of the play, had very little judgement of into complex characters with fickle, changeable and emotional personalities. It is however I feel with immense irony that it is Benedick in particular who makes this comment as he towards the end of the play is the epitome of reason and through this emphasises the giddiness of other characters. ...read more.

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