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

How does Shakespeare Develop the Relationship between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

[image001.gif] Name: David Ireland Form: 10DC Grade: Comments: How does Shakespeare Develop the Relationship between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing? During Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick and Beatrice certainly have an exceedingly tempestuous relationship that goes through many stages through the play. In Act I, Scene 1, it seems that they have met before, as Beatrice says she "know[s him] of old" (l.107), which could imply that they were in a relationship before the war Benedick has just returned from at the beginning of the play. Although she acts as though she hates Benedick when she is talking to him, Beatrice seems to care for him before he returns, as she asks the messenger who brings the news of the returning soldiers if "Signor Mountanto [has] returned from the wars or no?". This shows she cares about Benedick, and that she still has feelings for him of some kind. When Benedick comes back from the war, he and Beatrice meet for the first time in the play, which is the cue for a huge confrontation of wit and personality. This confrontational reaction to meeting is probably caused by the previous meeting between Beatrice and Benedick, as there is no evidence in this play why they act like they hate each other. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Benedick is wearing a mask actually seems to make him and Beatrice braver, so that they feel they can speak their minds or say what they feel. Beatrice is braver because she isn't talking straight to Benedick's face, and Benedick is braver because he thinks Beatrice doesn't know that it is him beneath the mask. In Act II, Scene 3, when he "discovers" from Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato that Beatrice loves him, Benedick appears to accept the fact almost instantly, because `the white bearded fellow' (Act II, Scene 3, l.106) said so, namely Leonato. Although at first he is surprised that someone as strong minded and set in her ways as Beatrice has freely admitted so to Hero, Benedick readily admits that he is now ready to commit to a relationship, as `when [he] said [he] would die a bachelor, [he] did not think [he] would live till [he] were married'. This shows how Benedick actually changes his whole view of life now that his feelings seem to have been returned. At the end of Act II, Beatrice still seems to hate Benedick, but Act II, Scene 1 seems to change her mind slightly. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act IV, Scene 1, after Hero has been accused by Claudio, when Benedick goes to comfort Beatrice, the conversation that follows subverts the gender roles that Benedick and Beatrice represent. In line 258, Beatrice totally undermines the authority Benedick had and respect that Shakespearean women were supposed to show men by saying, `It is a man's office, but not yours.' This could either be insulting to Benedick, or she could care about him, and therefore does not want Benedick to get hurt by fighting Claudio. Beatrice subverts her role as a women, by crying, `Oh that I were a man!', which shows how passionate she was about avenging her good cousin's slander. In the final scene of the play, Beatrice and Benedick are at last brought together. This moment is not through their own willing, but overall by the will of Leonato, Don Pedro, Hero and the other "plotters", who bring them together by showing them letters from each other declaring their love that they had stolen from Benedick and Beatrice. Overall, Benedick and Beatrice have an extremely tempestuous relationship that fluctuates between love and hate over time, and they are finally brought together by the sneaky members of family and friends in the tale who wish to let the pair's hearts follow the route they wish to. ...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)

    He goes on to criticise Beatrice saying, "methinks she's too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise. Only this commendation can I afford her, that she were other than she is, she were unhandsome, and being no other, but she is - I do not like her."

  2. How does Shakespeare represent love in 'Much Ado About Nothing'?

    The quotation "But lest my liking might too sudden seem" shows that he realises it could seem a little strange that he has fallen for a girl with a potentially large inheritance too quickly. At the time Shakespeare was writing though, the idea of 'love at first sight' was increasingly

  1. How does Shakespeare present the relationship of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About ...

    They are comfortable, which is demonstrated when he touches her hand. The mood, however, suddenly changes when Benedick says that he will do anything for her, and she replies, "Kill Claudio". This selfish request is refused at first. In response Beatrice says that if he will not do this for her, he does not truly love her.

  2. Discuss how Shakespeare creates the character of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

    Shakespeare has shown the audience why Benedick keeps his true feelings hidden, because he doesn't want to look a fool. Benedick is making excuses here because the other characters would humiliate him if he were truthful about his love for Beatrice; he has constantly told them in the previous scenes how adamant he is to remain a bachelor.

  1. There are many interesting things in 'Much Ado About Nothing' for an audience to ...

    shot at with a bow and arrow and if it hit him the archer should be "clapp'd on the shoulder and called Adam" This shows how much Benedick despises the thought of marriage and shows how far he will go to put his point across to his friends.

  2. Discuss the presentation of the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's 'Much Ado ...

    Beatrice and Benedick previously know each other and continue a 'merry war' that started when they first met. When they eventually fall in love it shows their maturity that they can show their feelings. In contrast to the young lovers Claudio and Hero, they are older and more mature.

  1. Letter to Theatre Director

    In the accusation Claudio uses numerous metaphors and smiles such as " Give not this rotten orange to your friend. Behold like a maid she blushes here!" showing Claudio has obviously thought about this before. He also uses puns to get his point across "Oh Hero!

  2. In this study, I will be exploring the way in which the relationship between ...

    Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother. By this Beatrice is implying that Benedick uses his wit to gain friendship and companionship. After she makes this clear she remarks that the only real companionship that he has gained is that of his horse.

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