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How Does Shakespeare Convey The Character Change In Beatrice In The Play "Much Ado About Nothing"

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How Does Shakespeare Convey The Character Change In Beatrice In The Play "Much Ado About Nothing" I am going to write about the change of character of Benedick/Beatrice in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." The play is set in Messina around 1598. The play revolves around a few central characters, Benedick, Beatrice, Don John, Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Hero. The play has two main central characters, Benedick and Beatrice. Benedick is one of Don Pedro's soldiers and is considered a womaniser by Beatrice "and a good soldier to a lady. But what is he to a lord?" Beatrice Lives with Leonato who is her uncle and from the first scene it appears as if she dislikes Benedick she also seems very witty in the way she twists every thing the messenger says against Benedick. When Beatrice and Benedick first meet in the play they start arguing but it is obvious that they do not really hate each other but they exchange wit as a way of flirting. It is also hinted, throughout the play, that these two have had a history together. It is never directly mentioned but Beatrice hints at it "you always end with a jades trick" and "his heart? Indeed my lord, he lent it me awhile, and I gave him use for it. If they did have a past together it would explain their playful bickering. During the play there is a dramatic change in both characters. ...read more.


For the first time Benedick shows real affection towards his heartbroken love "Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?" she then replies with "Yea, and I will weep a while longer." Even though Benedick is trying to comfort her, Beatrice rejects his comments at first and fires back with her usual wit "I will not desire that", "You have no reason, I do it freely." She is so upset with what has happened Benedick then makes a very bold statement "I do love nothing in the world as well as you. Is that not strange?" This is a brave statement by Benedick because an emotional Beatrice could easily reject him. Beatrice is clearly taken back by this and Shakespeare shows this in her response as she makes "much ado" about "nothing" "As strange as the thing I know no not. It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you. But believe me not, and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing." She then tries to change the subject back by saying "I am sorry for my cousin." Benedick takes no notice of this and says, "By my sword Beatrice, thou lovest me." The conversation becomes lighter and playful again as Beatrice proclaims her love "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest." ...read more.


This sums up their relationship in a lot of ways. In the final scene neither Beatrice nor Benedick is willing to admit in front of everyone that they love each other. However Claudio and Hero produce two pieces of paper from the couple declaring their love for each other even after this they still wont properly admit it "Come, I will have thee, but by this light thee for pity." As she finishes her reply Benedick kisses her "Peace, I will stop your mouth." Benedick dominates the final stages of the play and even overrules Leonato "First of my word, therefore play music. Benedick has changed so much that he is now advising Don Pedro to get married. "Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife; get thee a wife" Throughout the play Shakespeare uses puns in the witty exchanges between Beatrice and Benedick. Beatrice uses it so many times that Benedick says, "Thou hast frightened the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit." Shakespeare also uses oxymoron's to emphasize conflicting emotions "Thou pure impiety and impious purity." In conclusion the play is very witty and the characters are believable. Shakespeare's imagination is clearly shown. Some of the more obvious themes in the play are that of love, marriage, trust and loyalty. A less obvious theme is that appearances are deceiving, and in "Much Ado About nothing" which is full of deceptions, the truth behind appearances is constantly in question. ...read more.

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