• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers in 'Much Ado about Nothing'. Consider their attitudes, actions, language, love and audience reaction to their stories.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

West Anglia College GCSE English Assignment - Shakespeare Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers in 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Consider their attitudes, actions, language, love and audience reaction to their stories By Stephanie Hoggett 'Much Ado About Nothing', written in 1598 and set in Messina (Sicily) is one of Shakespeare's comedies which addresses some very serious social and cultural issues inherent in Renaissance (Elizabethan) society. The play focuses on the relationships and attitudes to marriage of two couples; the mature Beatrice and Benedick and the much younger Hero and Claudio. The couples are of noble rank. Benedick and Claudio are brother officers and noblemen, Lords of Padua and Florence respectively. Benedick is a mature and experienced man in his thirties whilst Claudio is barely out of his teenage years. Hero is the young and innocent daughter of Leonato the Governor of Messina, in whose villa the play is set, whilst Beatrice, his ward and niece is much older. Both couples are in search of love, for Hero and Claudio Shakespeare makes this very explicit whilst that of Beatrice and Benedick is rather more implicit. Firstly, the relationship between Claudio and Hero, both young, na�ve and impressionable individuals. Claudio is so infatuated with Hero at first sight that he immediately falls in love and wants to marry her. ...read more.

Middle

Confidence is shown in Act four when Claudio willingly agrees to participate in a plot to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. However later in the play he is remorceful as he agrees without question to marry Leonatos niece. Depite her innocence and vulnerability Hero is sexually aware as she plots with Ursula to convince Beatrice that Benedick loves her. Nevertheless Hero often responds to a situations initiated by others; when she agrees with the Friars plan to win back Claudio and pretends to die, the deceitful nature of her character is revealed. Whilst Hero and Claudio represent the Elizabethan norm in marriage, the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick is more profound and less conventional for the time. At the start they play down and are cynical about the subject of love and marriage. Both characters are talkative, outspoken and full of wit; they hide their feelings for one another by engaging in a "merry war" (1. i. 56 ) of verbal sparring. This is illustrated in the first scene when Benedick says of Beatrice: Benedick: Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beatrice: A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours. Benedick : I would my horse have the speed of your tongue, ...... (1. i. 128-130) Benedick a mature and worldly wise character cannot make up his mind about marriage and privately believes he is unsuitable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare also uses language to differentiate between the social classes. Noble well to do characters speak in flamboyant fancy language indicative of their importance and education whilst 'common' barely educated characters such as Dogberry and Borachio speak in plane and simple and often inaccurate terms. For example Dogberry often gets his words completely wrong and makes ridiculous mistakes. In Act 3 Scene 3 he says "Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying; for ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats". (3.3.74 - 76). In conclusion the play illustrates a kind or irony. The young passionate relationship between Hero and Claudio based on shallow first appearances deepens. As Claudio matures he begins to appreciate Hero as a real person when he realises her innocence and finally marries her. Beatrice and Benedick's innate love is cemented, when in the final scene, they begin to realise the game they have been playing and see each other for who they really are. Benedick finally silences Beatrice with a kiss, and thus like all Shakespeare's comedies the play ends in marriage between the two couples, allowing his audience to return home satisfied and in good spirit. BIBILOGRAPHY 1. Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare - Arden (2001) 2. Much Ado About Nothing - Film starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannagh. 3. Much Ado About Nothing - York Notes (1980) 4. Much Ado About Nothing - Spark Notes 5. Internet www.gcseguide.co.uk ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Authors essays

  1. journeys end

    Stanhope starts getting onto Raleigh for not coming down to dinner and lies to Raleigh by saying "You insulted Trotter and Hibbert by not coming. You realise that, I suppose?" This angers Raleigh who inevitably blurts out "Good God! Don't you understand?

  2. Analysis of two stories from Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected".

    Mr. Foster is nearly seventy years old and also living with his wife in their large six-storey house. He is described in the text as a man who tortures her wife, by always being late, because he is irritated by her making a fuss about everything.

  1. The Importance of Being Earnest, Marriage and Respectability

    husband of their daughter, and make sure that he is respectable, has a good fortune, well known family background and many homes in expensive areas. Although it turns out that Lady Bracknell would have previously hoped that the families she hoped to marry into wouldn't mind the fact that she was poor and had no respect.

  2. Discuss how Blake uses language and imagery in chimney sweeper poems to communicate his ...

    In the songs of innocence, Blake uses the dream of Tom Dacre almost as a comforting lullaby told to the chimney sweepers to make them feel better. This is shown as in verse 4 it states 'then down a green plain leaping laughing they run.'

  1. To Sir With Love - Trace Braithwaite's Relationship with his students

    'big, broad and handsome' Braithewaite, but I think her crush was not more than a yearning for a father figure. Both Pamela and her mother respected Braithewaite enough to ask for his advice on family matter. Braithewaite, on his part, is careful and conscious of his limits with Pamela -

  2. Explore the ways in which Collins presents the relationships between men and women in ...

    She never leaves without her Christian pamphlets and she often tries to spread her faith through these tracts. She may be doing this to turn more people Christian, or she may just be doing this as it is in her sphere of power and it makes her feel as though she has more influence on society.

  1. Free essay

    Romeo and Juliet

    Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

  2. How do Gold Cadillac and Country Lovers differ in their presentation of Prejudice?

    The action's represented by the young girl, reflects how Mildred Taylor was when she was young. "In my early years the trip was a marvellous adventure... but I grew up to realise... that the jugs of water and lemonade were because we could not drink from the fountains marked 'white

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work