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How does Shakespeare present attitudes to love and marriage at the beginning of the play?

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Introduction

Natasha Jones English How does Shakespeare present attitudes to love and marriage at the beginning of the play? The first signs of love and marriage coming into the play are started by Beatrice in act 1 scene 1 line 28. This is Beatrice's first line in the play and the first thing she asks about is Benedict. Although it can be said in a very sarcastic manner by Beatrice it also shows her worries for Benedict and the first signs of love. She is obviously worried about Benedicks safety but tries not to show her real feelings by hiding them with her mock name of "Signor Mountanto". She continually talks about Benedick and his part in the war not even showing the slightest interest in any of the other soldiers. She does do it in a sarcastic mocking way but it is still only him she enquires about. Shakespeare shows us that there is a connection between Beatrice and Benedict by telling us through Leonato. ...read more.

Middle

We later see that Benedick shows no interest in either love or marriage. When asked by Claudio what he thought about Hero his answer is that she is nothing to note. Here act one scene 1line 144 we see Shakespeare introducing a new attitude of love this time it is between Hero and Claudio. This love interest is different in that it is more of a fairy tale love. As this time Claudio and Hero do not know each other. Claudio's attitudes of love are different he loves Hero just from her look. Shakespeare shows how love for men is based on looks and lifestyle of women. He presents this by showing how Claudio is in love with Hero just because she looks modest and sweet. This again shows how it is different for the men in love and marriage than it is for women. We see that Claudio expects Hero to be "modest" i.e. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows how women are presented as inferior and so it is the men who have to do everything for them. There is an exception to this in this play though; this is Beatrice. She is very independent and Shakespeare shows who women are becoming more modern with their own thoughts of love and marriage and how they would like to be like men have the right to choose. Although all these differences are in the start of the play there is also one similarity. That they all want to be loved and get married but by Shakespeare showing two different types of couples and thoughts he presents two different attitudes towards love and marriage. Hero and Claudio represent the traditional thoughts of love and marriage. That the women are choose by the men and so are inferior they have to look and be very sweet and modest. Benedick and Beatrice though represent the more modern view of love and marriage. This is that a women can have a say in who she marries and it is for love and personality not just looks. ...read more.

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