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How does Shakespeare explore the nature of love in Much Ado About Nothing

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare explore the nature of love in Much Ado About Nothing 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a comedy about love and marriage, where a quick relationship nearly becomes a disaster, and a slow progressing one that is a success. In 'Much Ado About Nothing', Shakespeare presents the audience with some sharply contrasting notions of love. In this world, Claudio and Hero are the very models of proper young aristocrats, and their love is presented very differently to that of Benedick and Beatrice. Claudio and Hero are both seen as two young people basing their love on a physical attraction. To the audience it is clear that their love is 'love at first sight'. Shakespeare's presentation of Claudio and Hero is very stereotypical. This is clear to the audience through the use of conventional romantic language. "Can the world buy such a jewel?" Because of Shakespeare's use of romantic language, it clearly shows that Claudio only uses the metaphoric word 'jewel' to describe Hero, based more on her appearance rather than her personality. This shows that in their type of relationship there are no 'true love feelings' as we are only shown that their love is based on looks. Throughout the play the audiences are introduced more about the personality of the characters. Claudio, for example, is shown to take things at face value. ...read more.

Middle

"What, my dear Lady Distain! Are you yet living?" This obviously is a rude remark to say to somebody, but Shakespeare makes it sound humorous in a way. As a response to this comment, Beatrice doesn't loose an opportunity to reply in the same tone. "Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feet it as Signor Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come in her presence". This teasing, with clear regard and attraction, continues with more passionate infighting where their fascination for each other becomes more and more clear later on the play. The words that they use to criticise each other, are the words that talked tediously by lovers who are confused and frightened of their attraction, and using harsh, playful words is their only way of showing feelings. Despite the fact that the two characters are constantly arguing with each other, Shakespeare's use of language in this Act makes it humorous for the audience. From Act 1, 1 we learn a lot about the background of Beatrice and Benedick. Both of the characters have ruined their outlooks of love by their previous past experience, and this could be the cause why they both reject love. "I know you of old". This quote show that both of the characters, used to be in a relationship together but their relationship didn't last long. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Act 4, 1 Shakespeare shows what type of character Benedick has when it comes to true love. It is shown to the audience that Benedick is prepared to sacrifice his male honor for Beatrice. "Enough, I am engaged; I will challenge him..." This shows that Benedick will even challenge his close friend, just to show how much he loves Beatrice. This links back to the contrast shown earlier with Claudio's character, where Shakespeare clearly shows that Claudio will not sacrifice his male honor for Hero. Beatrice and Benedick also admit their love for each other in this scene. "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest" This shows that Beatrice and Benedick both realised that they are in love with each other, and it shows that love has powered over their denial of love, which both of the characters had at the beginning of the play. In conclusion, Shakespeare ends the play in a happy ending, despite all the tragedies that have been caused throughout the play. Because of the happy ending, hope is created for both of the couples; Claudio and Hero and Beatrice and Benedick. The audiences are left with a peaceful mind about all of the characters and events. The atmosphere is calm and everyone is happy. The relationships are worked out, and the audience get a real hope that both of the relationships are going to last and everything will happen as in a 'fairy tale'. ...read more.

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