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

Discuss the presentation of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado about Nothing'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the presentation of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado about Nothing' referring to the whole play. Beatrice is the niece of Leonato, a wealthy governor of Messina. She is feisty, cynical, sharp and witty. Benedick has recently returned from fighting in the wars. He is also witty, and like Beatrice is always making jokes and puns. They both continue a 'merry war' against each other, in which Beatrice often wins the battles. 'They never met but there's a skirmish of wit between them', as Leonato says. They both appear content never to marry and swear never to fall in love. Beatrice then describes their last fight, when 'four of his five wits went halting off', and she continues teasingly to mock Benedick. The similarities in Beatrice's and Benedick's personalities and opinions are sure to bring them together from the beginning. They both rebel against the social 'rules' followed by most of the other characters when it comes to their opinions about love and marriage. Ironically, the effort they put into fighting creates the opportunity for them to become closer. One theme in the play is the taming of wild animals, which is the imagery that appears throughout the play. In the scene where Claudio and Don Pedro tease Benedick about his hatred of marriage, he is compared to a wild animal. Don Pedro states, 'in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke'. ...read more.

Middle

However, as the audience are used to seeing Benedick performing for others, it is hard to tell whether he has been in love with Beatrice all along, or if he suddenly falls in love with her. Benedick is feeling very insecure at this point in the play. The struggles with his new self are shown when Don Pedro questions if he will 'make a trust or transgression?' Don Pedro intended this to mean does Benedick think trusting in someone completely is a crime. The two words give alliteration with the same 'tr' and 's' sounds. This is effective because the sound of the 's' gives a sound of a snake, indicating evil and the 'tr' sound is more positive and calming. This technique Shakespeare has used is effective because the contrasted meanings of trust and betrayal are portrayed through the writing technique. This is significant of Benedick, showing his personal confusion. Beatrice enters after Benedick's soliloquy, which is humorous. She does not know that Benedick knows about her love for him, if there is any love for him at all. The last time they met, Benedick called Beatrice a 'harpy', so she must be feeling angry with him as she collects him for dinner. His change in mood must confuse her. Benedick states, 'You take pleasure then in the message', to which Beatrice replies, 'just so much as you may take upon a knife point'. ...read more.

Conclusion

At one point, Shakespeare had even titled this play, 'Benedicke and Betteris', which shows their relationship is a main focus throughout the play. Without Benedick and Beatrice, I think the play would be short of material and it is their characters and their relationship that make the play successful. "Benedick: Do you not love me? Beatrice: Why no, no more than reason. Beatrice: Do you not love me? Benedick: Troth no, no more than reason Benedick: Come, I will take thee; but by this light, I take thee for pity." It is clear that marriage will not change their relationship and the audience are left with the ultimate satisfaction that everything is good and the characters have found their correct place in society. Beatrice and Benedick are destined to last because there are no illusions to be crushed, as they know each other so well. They also have the confidence that they will be able to keep each other entertained with their similar wit. Benedick tells Beatrice, 'I take thee for pity', to which Beatrice replies, 'I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life'. This shows their ability to mock themselves at how they used to act and promises the audience that the 'merry war' between them will carry on beyond marriage. The name Beatrice means she who blesses and Benedick means he is to be blessed, which is significant, as it shows they are meant to be together. At the end Beatrice compares marriage to joyful dances, 'wooing, wedding and repenting is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinquepeace'. ...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 Much Ado About Nothing 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 Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An Exploration of the Theme of Love inMuch Ado About Nothing ...

    4 star(s)

    There is evidence in Much Ado to suggest that Beatrice may be hiding her love for Benedick because he has hurt her before. This is revealed when she speaks of his heart in Act two, Scene one, line 250: 'he lent it me awhile and I / gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one.'

  2. Peer reviewed

    Explore the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

    3 star(s)

    When he asks if she is still living he speaks of her as if he didn't care about her and impulses a hope that she was dead already. Their argument continues until Don Pedro interrupts and changes the subject. Neither of them seem to grow bored with arguing and finding different ways of insulting each other.

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Benedick and Claudio in

    It is necessary for the main man in the play to undergo a challenge in which he is taught a vital life lesson in which saves his relationship, as he emerges a man of maturity. My initial impression of Claudio is one of honour and lack of experience, but continuously proving people wrong, earning honour beyond his age.

  2. Compare and contrast the gulling of Benedick with that of Beatrice

    Don Pedro calls Beatrice "an excellent, sweet lady" and comments on how if she "bestowed" love for him, he would "make her half" himself. He is basically saying that Beatrice's love is very worthy and special, and it would be an honour for her to love him.

  1. 'How does the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick develop in ''Much Ado About Nothing

    Meanwhile, Beatrice overhears a conversation that she was 'not supposed to'. Hero and her servant Ursula are walking round the gardens and purposely speak loud of how much Benedick is in 'love' with her. Ursula: 'But are you sure that Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?'

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

    However in reality he is na�ve, juvenile and false. This is why we believe that his love for Hero is the same as his character. Claudio's references to why Hero is unfaithful are ironic. There is no solid proof that this maid has lost her title.

  1. How Beatrice and Benedick's relationship is presented in Shakespeare's comedy 'Much Ado about Nothing?'

    refers to her as 'my lady Beatrice' he see himself as her partner already. Moreover they do seem to fight like a married couple. In Benedick's soliloquy at the beginning of act 2 scene 3 he discusses the change in Claudio as he is to be married, and says he

  2. Contrast the love relationship between Beatrice and Benedick with that of Hero and Claudio. ...

    They are both brought together by deception and when they are tricked into loving each other it doesn't take long for them to change their ways. In the 'gulling' of Beatrice and Benedick their bad points and weaknesses are pointed out to them so they can change.

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