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How Does Shakespeare Contrast the Relationship between Claudio and Hero to that of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing"? How might an Elizabethan Audience view these characters?

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Introduction

How Does Shakespeare Contrast the Relationship between Claudio and Hero to that of Beatrice and Benedick? How might an Elizabethan Audience view these characters? Much Ado about Nothing is a play with different discourses on the nature of love. The film turns on the Claudio and Hero love plot, a young love based on obsession, even though this is less interesting than the Beatrice and Benedict sub-plot, which celebrates a more mature love which is based on independence and intelligence. This plot include 'testing' of love: Which we are shown by Beatrice demanding that Benedict challenge's Claudio and Don Pedro for their role in Hero's humiliation, and by doing so, Benedict chooses love for Beatrice over loyalty to friends, after which she then accepts him in marriage. Concluding to this many critics believe and have said that the plot of Much Ado About Nothing shares significant parts with that of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Saying that the plot which concerns the relationship between Claudio and Hero, in contrast to the parallel plot of Beatrice and Benedick, which has much in common with Shakespeare's later plays (which are often called romances or tragicomedies). In The 1400's the Renaissance movement began in Italy, and spread to the rest of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Renaissance movement had a major role in every day life. Women where not worthy of their freedom strengthens or could be highly educated. ...read more.

Middle

position and how others perceive her. He asks Benedick what he thinks. Much Ado is a play with different discourses on the nature of love. The film turns on the Claudio and Hero love plot, a young love based on obsession, even though this is less interesting than the Beatrice and Benedict sub-plot, which celebrates a mature love based on independence, wit and intelligence. Both plots include a severe 'testing' of love: Hero has her character brutalised and her virtue impugned, and Claudio is forced to repent and apologise to her, after which she accepts him in marriage; and Beatrice demands that Benedict challenge Claudio and Don Pedro for their role in Hero's humiliation, and by doing so, Benedict chooses love for Beatrice over loyalty to friends, after which she accepts him in marriage. Beatrice and Benedict engage in a 'merry war' with 'skirmish of wit' (1.1.50-51), which hide their true feelings for each other. They also have the individual fears of, in Benedict's case, being cuckolded in marriage and in Beatrice's, distrust of men. Benedict's views are most clearly seen after Claudio confides to him his feelings for Hero. Benedict replies: That a woman conceived me, I thank her. That she likewise brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks. But that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. ...read more.

Conclusion

Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, Misprising what they look on, and her wit Values itself so highly that to her All matter else..." This type of character was not liked in the Renaissance society even though Beatrice plays a major role in the play and is very comical when it comes to talking to another character: "O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence." An important theme in Shakespeare's play is the importance of kinship bonds, being loyal to your close relations. When Claudio attacks Hero with the speech of "O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!" Beatrice clearly stays with her Cousin, showing her loyalty to her kin by protecting Hero, this suggests that women were coming together and were becoming more powerful against the male dominated society. But because Leonato believes Claudio's acquisitions against his daughter, Hero, and her protests of innocence, he then decides to choose the bonds of men over those of kin. Because of this strong bond in relationships, many people challenged it as a Heterosexual love. His sonnets, containing some of the most emotional love poetry of any age, and were written to a man, most likely to a good friend of Shakespeare's, the Earl of Southampton. However, Anthony Holden (a prolific writer and broadcaster) argues that it was common for male friends to express their "love" for one another, so the sonnets should not be taken to suggest Shakespeare's homosexuality. ...read more.

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