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Compare Shakespeare's Presentation of the Contrasting Relationships between Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero

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Introduction

Compare Shakespeare's Presentation of the Contrasting Relationships between Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero In 'Much Ado About Nothing' Shakespeare presents two contrasting relationships. Claudio and Hero's relationship is a conventional, idealistic courtship of the time. Principally Hero and Claudio are apt to declaim in verse throughout the play as their relationship is based on this expected decorum of courting. Their relationship is impetuous and emotionally painful as they lack a true understanding of each other. The deception featured within the play tries the strength of the relationship and only the endeavours of the other characters and discovery of the truth that allows their relationship to continue. Benedick and Beatrice understand each other on an intellectual level and use their skills with words to banter and create friction between them. The two characters take longer to acknowledge their feelings for each other and their friends provide catalyst to awaken these feelings. Benedick and Beatrice usually communicate in prose to reflect the unpretentious relationship. Different personalities of characters result in their contrasting relationships. Beatrice and Benedick are independent and they both exemplify a negative attitude to love and marriage. Claudio and Hero however, are na�ve which explains how their love for each other is more conventional and romantic; it is based on appearance rather than a mental connection. The similarities in their attitudes to love bring them closer to their partners. Beatrice is introduced to he audience as a keenly witty, intelligent and independent woman, who is harsh towards Benedick. At the beginning of the play the messenger describes Benedick: "A good soldier too, lady." This communicates that Benedick is brave and honourable, but Beatrice's clever wit is conveyed as she uses a pun by changing his words so they mean the very opposite, "And a good soldier to a lady," implying that Benedick is a shallow womaniser. ...read more.

Middle

Malevolent deception devised by Don John act as a testing of the strength of their relationship. Claudio's lack of trust and knowing Hero results in him being easily fooled by Don John and eventually divides the couple. It is influential on Hero's downfall during the denunciation scene as Don John is resentful of "that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow" and is seeking revenge. The deception of Hero to appear unchaste to hurt Claudio is intended to destroy the love in the relationship and encourage jealousy and doubt. In contrast to the role deception plays in their relationship, in Benedick's and Beatrice's it benefits them. Don Pedro with help from friends plans the humorous gulling of Benedick and Beatrice so their love for each other is awakened. Don Pedro and the other characters involved with the gulling of Benedick describe Beatrice falling upon her knees, weeping, tearing her hair, and crying, "O sweet Benedick, God give me patience". Don Pedro, being a close friend to Benedick, understands how his mind works and what will stir his emotions for Beatrice. Benedick initially has a shocked reaction to this, he says: "This can be no trick ... they have the truth of this from Hero, they seem to pity the lady: it seems her affections have full bent: love me? Why it must be requited." This shows that he has believed what they have said as even Hero, the closest person to Beatrice has told them this. Benedick questions his belief of love and marriage as he says, "I did never think to marry, I must not seem proud, happy are they that hear their distractions, and can put them to mending... ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Benedick confesses his love for Beatrice when a vulnerable aspect of her personality is revealed. He confesses to her, "I do love nothing in the world as well as I love you, is that not strange?" Benedick also reveals a considerate side and his ability to relate to Beatrice's exposed and defenceless state at that moment. Beatrice responds in saying, "I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest". Therefore, the reader identifies the unpretentious acknowledgement of their love which is approached on their own terms without following the process of courtly love and interference of others - the use of prose is to reflect their realistic connection. Romantic language is not a feature in the relationship and on a rare occasion Benedick attempts to woo Beatrice with poetry he admits, "...never so truly turned over and over as my poor self in love: marry, I cannot show it in rhyme". In conclusion, Shakespeare presents the contrasting relationship between Beatrice and Benedick and Claudio and Hero through the style of language. The developments and progression of their relationships are triggered by significant moments in the plot and causes their attitudes towards the idea of loving each other change. Benedick and Beatrice use prose for the majority of the play to represent their down-to-earth relationship. It is through their playful banter and gulling which establishes the growth of an independent union on an intellectual level. Claudio and Hero's relationship is symbolised by the romantic verse they employ suited to their idealistic bond. It is turbulent throughout the play due to the events of deceit which prompt Claudio's harsh, suspicious and jealous traits which more than challenge Hero's gentle and innocent persona. It is through the difficulties their relationship is faced with that Claudio learns humility and to trust Hero. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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