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

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

Extracts from this document...


How Beatrice and Benedick's relationship is presented in Shakespeare's comedy 'Much Ado about Nothing?' Beatrice and Benedick are one of Shakespeare's famous couples that light up the stage, I think: although hero and Claudio are supposed to be the main characters Benedick and Beatrice, absorb most of the interest. 'Let but Beatrice and Benedick be seen, lo in trice The cockpit, galleries, boxes, all are full' (Leonard Digges, 1640) As they play begins , the men are coming back from war, Beatrice displays interest in Benedick from the start as she enquires about 'Signor Mountanto' referring to Benedick, she uses the word 'Mountanto' which is a fencing term for 'an upright blow or thrust' She probably intends it with a sexual innuendo also since a stallion 'mounts' a mare. She is the one who first mentions him, who brings him up again in a seeming irreverent context in act 2 scene 1 'he is the prince's jester, a very dull fool' it seems as though she is creating an image of herself as a feminist . her 'merry war' with Benedick, however she does give a lot of importance to Benedick. The audience knows enough to identify the different characters especially the object of Beatrice's interest 'Signor Mountanto' otherwise known as 'signor Benedick of Padua' - who engages immediately with her quick fire exchange of insults the 'merry war'. When the 'merry war' begins the audience can feel the sexual tension between the two characters, as Beatrice says 'is it possible Distain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as signor Benedick?' she says meet, which means appropriate and with a pun on 'meat' this shows she is thinking of his manhood, showing the sexual tension between Beatrice and Benedick. 'I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted' Benedick picks up on the point that she doesn't find him attractive, this explains he does care about her opinion more than any one else's , this can be seen when Claudio confides in Benedick about his love of hero; ' can the world buy such a jewel?' ...read more.


Sits the wind in that corner?' is that how things are? Here surprisingly Benedick doesn't seem disgusted, but entranced, here another part of the mask falls off, he is interested in requiting her love. Claudio, Leonato and Don Pedro are eager to 'hook 'Benedick, 'bait the hook well. This fish will bite' Claudio says this aside excited by the chance to make a fool out of Benedick, as he has usually been targeted by Benedick's scorn. Leonato mentions hero to make the trick more convincing 'she will sit you-you heard my daughter tell you how.' They break Benedick down 'hath a contemptible spirit' that he doesn't have a good nature but a loathsome one, Don Pedro uses this language to make Benedick vulnerable, when someone is vulnerable it is easier to convince them. Then Claudio builds him up 'he is a very proper man,' Suggesting that Beatrice must love him as he is an attractive man. Leonato takes a chance and tells a joke 'she found 'Benedick' and 'Beatrice' between the sheets.' Shakespeare includes Leonato's joke to add, realism to the conversation so it convinces the audience as well that they can perform. 'That' Claudio expresses disappointment that Leonato tells such an old joke so badly. In lines 160-5 Don Pedro begins to carry the joke to a point of mockery of Benedick that endangers the success of the plot, then realises his error and with 'the man doth fear god' corrects it. Don Pedro concludes: 'I could wish he would modestly examine himself to see how much he is unworthy so good a lady' after this Benedick does examine himself, he changes his appearance in act 3 scene 2 this shows the audience that he picked up on Claudio's point that 'he is a proper man' attractive and good looking, hence he tries to improve his appearance that would attract Beatrice. Benedick intersperses this 'secret' discussion with constant asides, demonstrating how he immediately believes what they say. ...read more.


Hero and Claudio present an ideal marriage; young beautiful, rich and equal, but are they? In my opinion Hero and Claudio's relationship is not equal as Hero puts him before herself, and is a match in naivety and immaturity. Hero is the much bigger person as she forgives Claudio in the end for attacking her character. In contrast Beatrice and Benedick are equal in their similarities, their intelligence, wit and views yet one is practical and the other emotional. Shakespeare made sure Beatrice and Benedick are similar so the audience can link them together. Both characters have the convention of romantic comedy against them from the start. The expectation from a romantic comedy demands hat the logical conclusion will be successful pairings of suitable characters. Beatrice and Benedick's posturing has immense dramatic irony. There is strong sense that Beatrice and Benedick's marriage will have an air of pragmatic realism; they already know the worst of each other before they allow themselves to fall in love. Benedick finds it impossible to play the role of courtly suitor expected of him, although he struggles with poetry and fine gestures such as 'come bid me do anything for thee'. He admits his inability to fall into the role as easily as Claudio, and eventually settles for the far more realistic option: being himself, at the end of the play. Beatrice finds it equally hard to become the demure heroine, although her speech is more tempered and far more serous once she has succumbed to love, she maintains her cutting wit right up to her last words: 'I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption' we feel at the end of the play that the relationship will not be perfect however in Benedick's words 'man is a giddy thing', subject to inconsistency and changeability like Beatrice and Benedick's relationship. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amarpreet Hullait ...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. Peer reviewed

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

    3 star(s)

    mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the sign of blind Cupid." This is even more proof that Benedick is not at all interested in love and uses hyperbole language to reflect his opinions Act 2 scene 1 Beatrice

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

    The music and dancing play and important role in the play as music signifies celebration and merrymaking and intensifies the romance throughout the play. The deceivery and eavesdropping show an exciting way in which the couples are undermined by lies or one another, and lead to believe things which aren't true.

  1. Much Ado About Nothing clearly shows the attitude of the Elizabethans towards women and ...

    talking loudly so that Benedick can hear Don Pedro says, "in despite of his quick wit, and his queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice". This is quite a humorous line because his friends know that Benedick does put on pretence that he will never love nor marry

  2. Are Beatrice and Benedick an ideal couple? Is the fact that they are roughly ...

    They provide a bit of humour, especially when the play has it's darker moments nearer the end. 'Benedick: I would my horse had the speed of your tongue.' It is clear from the way they talk to each other that they have some history together which the audience are unaware of.

  1. Compare the characters of Hero and Beatrice, as they are presented by language and ...

    I will requite thee taming my wild heart to thy loving hand. When they address each other for the first time after accepting their love. Benedick chows concern for Beatrice, this side of him she sees attracts her even more, during the love scene there are no flowery elaborate speeches, it all comes straight from the heart.

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

    This is part of her "merry war" with Benedick. Beatrice appears to loathe Benedick and vice versa; they engage in many "skirmishes of wit." However, although Beatrice appears hardened and sharp, she is vulnerable, for she loves Benedick. She is disguising her feelings for Benedick by calling him names and disguise is a major theme in this play.

  1. How Shakespeare portrays Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

    me no husband for the blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening. I could not endure husband." However, despite the fact that Beatrice displays an image of herself as a woman who does not need to follow the expectations of an unmarried daughter in her social circle and get married.

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

    Beatrice and Benedick are so against marriage because they haven't found anyone suitable enough yet and they don't want to be humiliated when they do. Beatrice and Benedick portray the more experienced and cynical lovers. Their relationship is more realistic because they argue and bicker.

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