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

How Does Shakespeare portray Women in 'Much Ado About Nothing?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Does Shakespeare portray Women in 'Much Ado About Nothing?' I believe eavesdropping plays a very important role in Much Ado. Therefore, I have chosen to answer this essay question, as I feel strongly about it. In the play, Shakespeare makes use of eavesdropping by using it as a comic device, but also to sort out situations so that the play is able to go on. I will be focussing upon two events in particular to show this. Each event will present a different form of eavesdropping being used. The first will be the gulling of Benedick and Beatrice (Act 2 Sc 3 & Act 3 Sc 1). The second, when the Watch overhears Borachio and Conrade discussing the plot against Hero (Act 3 Sc 3). Although both events create comedy, the scene with the Watch seems darker due to other circumstances, such as the shaming of innocent Hero about to happen. Whenever there is eavesdropping in Much Ado, it is always there for one main purpose, to give reason for plot development to proceed. It is a hint, preparing the audience for the following events about to take place. The eavesdropping during the gulling of Benedick and Beatrice is different to the one of the Watch. In the gulling scenes, the other characters are aware that Benedick and Beatrice are eavesdropping, this is a part of the plan to get the two together. Where else Borachio and Conrade are unaware that the Watch is listening and consequently put themselves in a mess. ...read more.

Middle

So by saying this Benedick is trying to say that he will never fall in love. The men talk about how much Beatrice loves Benedick, and at the same time compliment her. "she loves him with an enraged affection...she's an excellent sweet Lady". The eavesdropping on this conversation leads Benedick to a change of heart. He reveals his true feelings in his soliloquy, "I will be horribly in love with her.. she's a fair Lady". A stubborn and foolish Benedick at the start of this scene, turns into a more affectionate and loving one by the end. This is all due to the eavesdropping. In terms of plot development, eavesdropping is very powerful. In Act 3 Sc 1, Hero and Ursula do their part of the plan, to encourage Beatrice to fall in love with Benedick. Just like the previous scene with Benedick and the three men, this is the female version, and the other half of the plan. Benedick has been taken care of, and now it is Beatrice's turn. They speak highly of Benedick and "praise him more than ever man did merit". Beatrice is shocked at what she hears, "what fire is in mine ears?" However, like Benedick, Beatrice too quickly requires her love for him, regardless of her previous attitude towards him. Beatrice expresses how she is willing for her and Benedick to be together. In her soliloquy she says, "And Benedick, love on I will requite thee, Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand". ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a classic Shakespearean comic device, also in "Midsummer Nights Dream". This could be seen as a sigh of relief for the audience, because we are now able to relax and know that the situation concerning Don John's evil plan is being dealt with. If the watch had not eavesdropped on Borachio's and Conrade, Claudio and Hero would have been torn apart forever. Therefore it was indeed vital that this eavesdropping took place. This scene causes dramatic tension towards the end, when Borachio and Conrade are arrested. The tension is created because we do not know whether Hero's innocence will be revealed to Claudio just in time of the wedding, so that she does not get shamed but instead weds normally. The audience will be in suspense and excitement of what is going to happen next. If the eavesdropping in this scene didn't happen, Don John the villain would have got away, escaping from being revealed to everyone and escaping from his punishment. In the end, his plan fails because of the eavesdropping in this scene. All Shakespeare comedies end with one or more marriages. Shakespeare uses eavesdropping to bring the two couples together in the play. If this did not happen there would have been no marriages in this Shakespeare comedy, which would be breaking tradition. Without the use of eavesdropping, Much Ado couldn't have worked so well as a play. Eavesdropping determined plot development, dramatic irony, dramatic tension and comic devices. All of which make Much Ado a very effective and successful play. ...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. The use of eavesdropping in Shakespeares

    or come not near me, noble, or not I for an angel, of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be...of what ever pleases God." Another important method which shakespeare uses is dramatic irony, he does this by making the storyline obvious to the audience, now that the

  2. Compare and contrast the gulling of Benedick with that of Beatrice

    This method makes Beatrice and Benedick question why they are not worthy for the others love and why their friends would try to prevent and frown upon love between Benedick and Beatrice. Both Benedick and Beatrice have a soliloquy towards the end of their particular scenes where they have been deceived.

  1. Compare And Contrast The 'GULLING' scenes in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing:Act 2 Sc ...

    However this may have been because of certain reasons which were not clear to her at the time . Because Elizabethan women had to rely on their husbands for all financial support . Beatrice could have been thinking into the future because she was getting older and was still not married but she did not want to get married.

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

    Much Ado About Nothing also clearly illustrates the Elizabethan fear for men that they will be cuckolds. For men they wanted to produce a male heir who will carry on the family and inherit the wealth. This quotation is an example of the men talking about being a cuckold and

  1. Much Ado About Nothing - Elizabethan Women

    Beatrice has an impish side to her, this is reflected when in 1.1.28 Beatrice says, "I pray you, is Signior Montano returned..." Mountanto refers to a fencing term for an upwards thrust so her sentence has a slight sexual undertone.

  2. The Tricking Of Benedick - What makes act 2 scene 3 dramatically effective?

    He talks about the trick (although he doesn't know it's a trick) and about hid transformation into a man that never wanted to love and marry to a man who wants to now. We know the trick has worked because of what Benedick says.

  1. How and how effectively are women presented in 'Much Ado about nothing'?

    Her first appearance in Act one scene one would surprise the audience as she is attempting to outwit a male and indeed succeeding, changing the moralities and giving authority to Beatrice, the female. She is rude and forceful in her language, she promises 'to eat all of [Benedick's] killing' which

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

    Later on in scene one, Benedick asks Claudio if he has "any intent to turn husband?". Perhaps Shakespeare wants us to see here that Benedick is very fond or Claudio and that he considers them to be good friends, and his looking out for him.

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