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Compare and contrast Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Much AdoAbout Nothing'.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 3 Scene 1 of 'Much Ado About Nothing' In Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 3 Scene 1 Beatrice and Benedick are both separately being tricked into falling in love with each other by their friends. To compare the two scenes we must first consider the symmetry between them; the initial thing we notice as an audience is that all of the characters in Act 2 Scene 3 are male, and that all of the characters in Act 3 Scene 1 are female; this gives the effect of the two sexes battling. Both scenes are riddled with deceit and trickery, and the lengths too are also similar. As we know both parties have the same purpose and after reading the play we know that there is a similar outcome from both groups. The two scenes are theatrically similar, and they both offer phenomenal opportunities for a creative director. In Act 2 Scene 1 Don Pedro is discussing marriage with Beatrice; we already have learnt at this point that both Benedick and Beatrice are contemptuous of love, although it is obvious from the moment Beatrice walks on stage that secretly she does want a husband. ...read more.

Middle

The two characters change dramatically in personality after these two scenes, Benedick is mocked by Don Pedro and Claudio and Beatrice also by Hero and Ursula for being so quiet. Both scenes are full of humor and are great to watch in the theatre as Shakespeare wrote them to be acted out. Beatrice and Benedick are the mockers in the play, but the irony is that the mockers and being mocked. The scenes are both set outdoors in the orchards, this is because in an orchard there would have been many places to hide and on stage it would have been more effective and probably more cost efficient to have someone hiding in a tree. Beatrice and Benedick both hear themselves being mocked, demolished, criticized and assassinated in an exaggerated way, which makes them take stock as they hear about the wild excess of love felt by the other. Both characters are gullible to believe what they hear and neither questions whether it's the truth. They are easily conned, but both are terribly flattered to hear that they are loved by the other. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice does not do this, but we assume it is because she already liked Benedick. When Leonato claims Beatrice was "up twenty times a night" and not eating, just writing Benedick letters proclaiming her love for him it paints a mental image for the reader and the audience, yet Beatrice has no such image painted for her by Hero and Ursula, his love is not really described at all. When Beatrice hears the women talking about her she is portrayed in a very feminine way, she is even hiding in a more feminine way than Benedick. Benedick is high in the tree tops above everyone, and Beatrice is close to the ground scuttling about. The women are also more catty about Beatrice's capricious attitude towards men "if fair-faced she would swear the gentleman should be her sister". A harsher tone was used with Beatrice than Benedick received from Leonato, Hero was more spiteful but only because she knew this would have the desired effect on Beatrice. In each case the plotters work in a similar way, one criticized and the other praises. This is to promote emotion in Beatrice and Benedick. The two scenes are on the whole very similar; they only differ in tactics and language. ...read more.

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