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Character study - Benedick.

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At the beginning of the scene, Benedick thinks it is foolish to be in love. He uses pompous phrases like, 'I do much wonder, that...' and 'I have known when...' to show his smug disapproval and superiority over the love struck Claudio. He thinks he is better than Claudio because he will never let himself fall in love. Benedick uses contrast to emphasise how much Claudio has changed from being a normal military man, now that he has fallen in love. '...there was no music with him but the drum and the fife, and now...the tabor and the pipe.' He contrasts the 'drum and the fife' with 'the tabor and the pipe' suggesting that now Claudio would rather listen to love songs than military music. ...read more.


It is as if he is boasting to himself by going over and over what most men cannot do, which is to resist love. Benedick describes his ideal woman showing his wit by punning on the word 'grace' '...but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.' The gifts of the three graces were beauty, virtue, and wisdom and Benedick puns on the word grace meaning 'goodwill'. Benedick is saying that until he finds all these qualities in one woman none will come in his 'goodwill'. He is describing his ideal woman, or may be even exclaiming that no one is good enough for him, because no woman can possess all these qualities that he desires. ...read more.


It is as if he is considering what he should do, no longer boasting or criticising. Benedick uses an oxymoron to describe being in love. '...horribly in love...' The two contrasting words create conflict and therefore interest, maybe highlighting that Benedick feels that he is going to display all the 'horrible' characteristics of the love struck Claudio. This therefore suggests that he has not actually changed his views about love, but cannot change the fact that he has fallen in love. Benedick uses a lot of food imagery to convince himself of his changing views, 'A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age.' He is saying that people's preferences change, as they get older. He tries to justify the change from his misogynistic view. ...read more.

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