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Compare and contrast the romance of Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the romance of Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick. In the play Much 'Ado' about nothing (Ado meaning fuss), relationship is the key subject throughout the play. As a comedy it is known in Shakespeare's time to have misunderstandings, confusion and end in a wedding. Much Ado does the exact of the conventions of a comedy, full of mixed up events and confused identity. Shakespeare has used Much Ado to show two different presentations of love via Claudio and Hero, and Beatrice and Benedick. There is evidently a contrast between the love of Claudio and Hero and Beatrice and Benedick, as there is in their characteristics and attributes. Claudio and Hero's relationship being simply conventional and apparent where as Beatrice and Benedick's based on their wit and deeper feelings. Claudio himself being respected by Messina, a traditional solider and a character in which talks in blank verse show us as an audience his importance in the play. A perfect match for Claudio would therefore be a character such as Hero. As she herself is a character well respected, modest, virtuous and talks in blank verse. It is important that we remember that in Shakespearean time, individuals of the same status would wed. This is why we conclude that Claudio and Hero's love is somewhat conventional. Benedick too is valued, however in contrast to Claudio, is not customary and tends to talk in prose rather than blank verse, showing his significance. Beatrice, having a reaction to by a Shakespearean audience, is the complete opposite of her cousin Hero. Women were supposed to be moral, quiet, submissive and modest, Beatrice is not this way. ...read more.

Middle

Naivety plays a big part in Claudio's character; Shakespeare uses this to show his deep love for Hero may not be love at all. 'Fare well therefore Hero' (Act 2 Scene 1), Claudio's gullibility has let Don John deceive him. His youth is shown because he is unable to think beyond what he is told. He is aware that Don John is a bastard and seeing that he is a Shakespearean character in his time he should be aware of Don John being melancholy and a villain. On many occasions Shakespeare uses Don John's character to show Claudio's true personality as adolescent and childish. Not learning his lesson from previous incidents Claudio does not fail to let Don John mislead him into believing that his wife to be is unfaithful. 'Why I should not marry her, tomorrow in the congregation where I should wed, there I will shame her' (Act 3 Scene 2) Claudio not thinking of Hero but himself worries about his honour and wants to shame Hero to justify himself. This is a conflict between appearances vs. reality, Claudio's love appeared to be great in reality it is fickle. His love is invalid and is now worth nothing linking back to the title Much Ado About Nothing. This is where we can contrast Claudio's character to that of Benedick. Shakespeare uses dramatic tension with Claudio's character and sarcasm, 'give me this maid' (Act 4 Scene 1) this would have had an effect on the Shakespearean audience and also on the character's in the play. It is considered moral for a woman to be pure, virtuous and innocent. ...read more.

Conclusion

We here see the position of women in Shakespeares society when Beatrice says 'if I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place' (Act 4 Scene 1), this shows us that a woman was second class, a woman couldn't do what a man could. This is the point where Benedick put his love well above Claudio as he does anything for his devotee. 'Enough, I am engaged; I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and so leave you' (Act 4 Scene 1). Benedick wins our hearts in this scene, as he is thoughtful, kind, understanding and caring. Claudio wins Hero back when the truth is set free. Hero as a conventional woman, has no choice but to accept him 'when I lived I was your other wife, and when you loved, you were my other husband' us as a modern day audience would disagree with her action. From Shakespeares society, Claudio's naivety, Hero's obedience, it is clear to me that their love is based on appearance. Appearance of each other and to society, their love is superficial. In the entire play these two characters barely have a full conversation with each other-how could this be love? It is clearly to me that true love lives in the characters of Beatrice and Benedick. Though in denial at first, their veil eventually had been removed. Maybe Shakespeare was trying to teach people something-maybe it was that status doesn't always matter who knows. But from my observation I clearly believe that commitment and your true self is the key to a successful relationship! Not status and silent ness! By Leticia Powlett Hehhhhhiohhsaihdoihio Leticia Powlett English Coursework 10Ward 2 I Candidate No:0209 Miss.Kapidia ...read more.

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