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Compare and contrast two characters from 'Much ado about nothing' as presented by Shakespeare.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast two characters from 'Much ado about nothing' as presented by Shakespeare Shakespeare's play 'Much Ado About Nothing' has two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero, who are cousins. Both appear to be completely different in the beginning of the play but, as things progress and their characters develop, there are also some very obvious similarities between them. Hero and Beatrice have a very close relationship; they are best friends. Leonato is Hero's father but Beatrice has no parents, which gives her greater freedom. Where Hero is polite, quiet, respectful and gentle, Beatrice is feisty, cynical, witty, and sharp. Shakespeare uses several literary devices and techniques to present the characters of Hero and Beatrice in a way that lets the audience easily compare and contrast them. For example, in the characterisation of Hero and Beatrice, the dialogue used - what they say, how they say it, what other characters say about them and Hero's silence are all very important in revealing their characters; in a similar way, their actions - what the characters do, and their inaction contrasts and creates significant difference between them, bringing each one's personality. In addition, Shakespeare's constant use of dramatic irony, hyperbole and contrasting plots, themes and structure all combine in his presentation of the two. ...read more.

Middle

They are now both in love and as we see in Act 3 Scene 4, Beatrice has become quieter and more serious. During this scene, the morning of Hero's wedding, Shakespeare reveals that Hero is having premonitions, more development of her character. "God give me joy to wear it for my heart is exceedingly heavy" she states. This is dramatic irony because she feels the wedding may go wrong but it is really a reminder to the audience of Claudio's intentions to humiliate Hero in the next scene. The audience also find out that Beatrice is lovesick, Hero asks: "Do you speak in the sick tune?" Beatrice is subdued and Margaret also fills in the comic space and provides the wit by making jokes at Beatrice's expense. "God send everyone their heart's desire!" she says, implying she knows what Beatrice's heart desires. Margaret makes obscure references to Beatrice's new mood, saying she should take some "Carduus Benedictus" for her illness. Act 4 Scene 1 is very important structurally because there is a significant change in mood, from comedy to potential tragedy, as Don John's malevolent plan to ruin the wedding works. Shakespeare takes the opportunity to make major changes in the characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

Often, as it does at the very end of this play when Benedick announces, "Let's have a dance", music and dance occur, symbolising harmony restored. In conclusion, Benedick sums up himself, the other characters, and everything else in the play when he declares, "for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion." and Hero and Beatrice could certainly testify to this. At the end of the play both woman are reunited with their lovers. This is the happy outcome. We also discover that it really is "Much Ado About Nothing"; characters are easily fooled by disguise, deceit, and deception, being very gullible and falling prey to misinterpretation when eavesdropping. This is another link with the title of the play, which may mean making a great deal out of something that isn't really true (characters being tricked by disguise, deceptions) or in Shakespeare's time the words "nothing" or "noting" (meant observing) were pronounced in a very similar way. So, the title also means making a fuss about what you have seen or think you have seen (misinterpretation, eavesdropping). Beatrice and Hero are closely linked to both interpretations of the title and are both wonderful and intriguing characters. They develop in interesting ways and they represent two extremely different views of society and what it was like to be a woman in those patriarchal times. Much Ado About Nothing Coursework 1 ...read more.

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