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During Act 1 Scene 1 in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing,' up until Act three scene two, the development of Benedick and Beatrice's

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Shakespeare Essay: Much Ado About Nothing, 1598 - 1599 During Act 1 Scene 1 in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing,' up until Act three scene two, the development of Benedick and Beatrice's relationship is made clear to the audience. It is easy to compare the nature of their feelings by the way their relationship contrast from the beginning of this section toward the end. It is clear from the start that their emotions towards each other are near hatred, but they continue to change into love and passion as the play progresses, enabling the audience to make a comparison. The way the relationship is portrayed on stage will determine the audience's interpretation of the development of their bond. In Act 1 scene 1, we learn the basics of Beatrice and Benedick's relationship. From Leonato's words, we learn that there is a 'merry war' between Beatrice and Benedick, and that that are continuously in conflict. This immediately may suggest first signs of passion, as traditionally hate is the first sign of love. "There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her... there's a skirmish of wit between them," Act 1 scene 1 lines 45-47 Although hate may be the first sign of love, this is the only suggestion of it, and the audience are not specifically told whether its passion or if they simply just do not get along. ...read more.


This is significant, as during the times in which Shakespeare wrote 'Much Ado About Nothing,' women were expected to marry and raise their own family. Any woman whom did not fit this tradition would have been seen as different in society. Beatrice's cousin, Hero, demonstrates how Shakespearian society marriages took place. She and Claudio fell in love, and she was ceremonially given away from her father to make her own family. This is how customarily men and women in this particular era would be married. Beatrice though does not follow this. She does not agree with the idea of men being the workers and women being the one who look after the children, and this may be the reason in which she doesn't want to marry, as she may be forced to join the rest of society. Benedick may also be scared of the consequences of marriage, as in Shakespearian times it was very shameful to become a cuckold. A man became a cuckold when his partner was unfaithful to him, and the man was then seen as a joke and not taken seriously. Benedick may wish to remain a bachelor as then he cannot risk being hurt by a seriously relationship and will not have to be wary of becoming a mockery of society. Although both Benedick and Beatrice come across as feeling very strongly about the aspect of marriage, Benedick changes his opinion remarkable quickly. ...read more.


The first interpretation given is that Beatrice is insulting Benedick, accusing him of being arrogant and over-confident. She actually is the first person to mention Benedick, and to raise his name in the convocation, suggesting to the audience that she may have deeper feelings for him. She also admits to Don Pedro that she has lost his heart. Don Pedro: "You have lost the heart of Signor Benedick." Beatrice: "... He lent it me for a while... Therefore your grace may say I have lost it," Act II Scene I lines 209 - 213 Here she says 'a double heart for his single one," implying she loved him twice as much as he loved her. She also says "he won it of me, with false dice," indicating he tricked her into loving him. This also insinuates they may have been in a past relationship, and could be why she is so scared of falling in love again, and has hidden her feelings for Benedick. Analogous to Benedick, Beatrice is shocked to find out she is loved, but is also overwhelmed with joy, and swears to return his love. Inclusively, Beatrice's and Benedict's relationship persistently matures throughout Act I scene I, until they find themselves tricked into admitting their love for one another. Although eventually Benedick and Beatrice became betrothed, their characters do not change at all. They still remain stubborn to deny their feelings for each other, and the gradual development of their relationship prepares the audience for the happy ending. ...read more.

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