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How does Shakespeare Present Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as the 'reality' of love and Claudio and Hero's as merely the 'appearance' of it?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare Present Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as the 'reality' of love and Claudio and Hero's as merely the 'appearance' of it? The idea of love at first sight was popular in Shakespeare?s day. Romeo and Juliet, for instance, fall in love at first sight. Moreover, Claudio?s methods of courting Hero through other people would have been an accepted tactic among Elizabethan nobility. Shakespeare's drama mocks love and human courtliness between two couples who take very different paths to reach the same goal by making the connection between inward and outward beauty. It shows different ways of how people are attracted to one another, and how their realization and definitions of "love" relate to their idea of inward and outward beauty. Shakespeare uses contrasts in between the two relationships of one which is full of praises and love at first sight. This is a sentimental conventional type which the other a pro longed war of words, but still the unspoken feeling of love. This seems as if Shakespeare is giving his opinion on the issue of true love versus sudden romance, and he is weighing in favour of true love. In the playwright, Beatrice and Benedick have vowed that they will never marry, they change their minds quickly and both decide that marriage is better than being single. However, Claudio and Hero do not enjoy the strong and equal relationship that Benedick and Beatrice have. Hero?s dilemma reminds the audience that a woman in the Renaissance was vulnerable to the accusations or bad treatment of men, including her own male relatives. ...read more.

Middle

At the start of the play, there is nothing but an obvious spark between Beatrice and Benedick. It appears as though they are reluctant lovers deceived into a suspicious relationship. Beatrice and Benedick have never been gentle with each other, as whenever they meet, they often have a skirmish of words between the two of them. They have known each other for a long time and seem to enjoy fencing insults back and forth between them, using insults to convey their true feelings of affection towards one another. In the opening act, they already argue as lovers as Benedick says; ?What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?'' ''Lady'' symbolises a woman with respectful manners who's honourable and responsible however this is a question is quite rude which then Beatrice?s replies: ?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 attaches with clear regard and attraction which continues with more passionate infighting where their fascination for each other becomes understanding. Benedick And Beatrice have the 'reality' of love as their words, which appear to be that displays disdain are the exact words talked tediously by lovers who are confused and frightened of their attraction as love's first step starts from bitterness/arguments. Shakespeare portrays their bickering argumentative love to be more heart whelming as opposed to the sentimental affectionate relationship of Hero and Claudio. Benedick?s admiration for Beatrice is clouded by fear and confusion, not based only on her appearance, but on her soul and inner beauty. ...read more.

Conclusion

An interpretation could be that the marriage of Benedick and Beatrice was explicit as there sparring insults between each other generated the eternal reality of love within them. One could say that Claudio fell in love at first sight, and then caught a glance of her inner beauty when her innocence was revealed. After learning of Hero's innocence, he agrees to marry one of Leonato's nieces, and says that he would even have an Ethiope for his wife. This could be interpreted as a desire of Claudio to marry into fortune, pursuance of his love wealth obscured by beauty. Shakespeare mounts Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as the 'reality' of love as it a relationship that seems more believable and enduring throughout the play as the couple constantly affront each other but do appreciate each others absence thoroughly by admiring the love between each other. Shakespeare seems to have done this to probably express how love shouldn't be always serious but should also have comedy that heightens up the love between a couple. In contrast with Claudio and Hero's love is highlighted as the 'appearance' of love as the outward beauty of Hero dramatically deceived Claudio in to deep physical attraction which overlapped with the attraction of inward beauty. By contrasting these two different types of love, Shakespeare manages to poke fun at the conventions of a polished romantic love. Some of the audience could interpret that no matter how much you fall in love with a outward beauty, it will deceive you if your heart doesn?t purify the inward beauty of the opposite sex. ...read more.

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