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

How does Shakespeare present the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick and Hero and Claudio in 'Much Ado About Nothing'. How might a modern audience respond to the presentation of these relationships?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stacey Carlyle AS Coursework 27/02/2003 Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare How does Shakespeare present the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick and Hero and Claudio in 'Much Ado About Nothing'. How might a modern audience respond to the presentation of these relationships? 'Much Ado About Nothing' was first published in 1600, the Elizabethan era. The audience of 1600 would have had different interpretations of the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick and Hero and Claudio from what we have in the modern day. Benedick and Beatrice are used by the play write to create a sub plot. The audience can clearly see that the main and desired love is that of Claudio and Hero. Beatrice and Benedick have been acquainted for a great length of time, and Beatrice swears that she will never be married, likewise Benedick clearly states that he will never fall in love the way Claudio did. "Lord, I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face! I had rather lie in the woollen." Beatrice's determination not to marry, allows the audience to see that she holds a mature awareness about marriage and knows that it carries many risks. However, both of the two characters change their views about marriage once hearing others talk of their love for one another. ...read more.

Middle

The presentation of Benedick and Beatrice's relationship allow the modern day audience to see that they are truly in love. Benedick is a truthful and sincere character and is prepared to lose everything he has ever worked for in order to prove his love. The play indicates that the two have previously been a couple and Beatrice wants Benedick to prove his love before she commits herself to him. The audience will get the sense that she dearly loves him but does not want to be disappointed again. In conclusion Shakespeare shows that their relationship is far more genuine than that of Hero and Claudio. The second relationship demonstrated within the play, is that of Hero and Claudio. They had known each other a mere few days before confessing their love for each other. When arriving early on in the play, one of the first questions asked by Claudio is, " Hath Leonato any son my lord?" This is the first thing asked about Hero and immediately questions Claudio's true meaning behind his love for Hero. He feels that if he confines his love for Hero, they will be wed and once her father dies, they will inherit all of his wealth and good fortune. He may appear to some as being interested in Hero's family, but he is simply being shallow. ...read more.

Conclusion

We would expect nothing more than him to be deeply upset and show some remorse instead of his light-hearted manner. This is another indication that the love between them was purely superficial and idealised. However, all but Claudio had become convinced of Hero's innocence and he is made to feel very guilty and shameful, paying a choir to sing at her tomb. Beatrice and Hero herself feel that they need to punish Claudio and let enough time pass in order to regain her honour. Both characters hope that despite the arrogance of Claudio, he would indeed realise and accept that he was wrong to believe the likes of Don John, over his fianc�e. The Elizabethan audience would agree with the actions of both Hero and Beatrice. However, the modern audience would feel that Claudio has been let off very lightly. Furthermore, Antonio had promised to pretend that Hero is his daughter so Claudio will believe he is marrying Hero's cousin. "Another Hero!" This illustrates how idealised their love is, Claudio feels he had been reunited with Hero and been given another chance to prove his love. The presentation of Hero and Claudio's relationship allow the audience to witness another kind of love, one that is popular, idealised and convenient. One can still see that the stronger and more genuine love is that between Benedick and Beatrice. 1 ...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

    How does Shakespeare present the developing relationships of the lovers in the play?

    5 star(s)

    His response in words: " Not sad, my lord" (Act 2 Scene 1 line 219) which said in a most childish way establishing the young, immature state of his mind, but this quickly recedes when Don Pedro explains the situation.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Explore the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

    3 star(s)

    Later on in the scene, Act 1 Scene 1, Benedick is talking to Don Pedro and Claudio about love and Beatrice. He admits that he is a cruel person to women, when he says, "as being a professed tyrant to their sex?"

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Benedick and Claudio in

    He then lets his sensitive side be replaced with anger as he confronts Claudio and challenges Claudio to a fight "you are a villain - I jest not, I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's Presentation of Gender Issues in "Much Ado About Nothing"

    This relates to Beatrice's "Oh that I were a man!" because she feels so powerless and unable to do anything to defend her cousin. She has to, therefore, ask Benedick to kill Claudio for her, and in the process opens herself up and admits her love for him.

  1. Shakespeare's presentation of deception in Much Ado About Nothing.

    of marriage and laughed at other married man - 'another man...after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love...is Claudio.'(II,iii,83) He then goes on to draw up a list of qualities he would expect in the perfect woman,

  2. Compare and contrast the romance of Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedick.

    'Two of them have the very bent honour...the practice of it lives in John the bastard' (Act 4 Scene 1). We can contrast his intelligence and maturity with Claudio who is too na�ve to realise what is happening. Benedick has right judgement and his inner beauty is shown.

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

    During this era, sexual intercourse before marriage was one of the worst sins to commit. Although this was not his intention, Shakespeare has shown how the norms of British society have changed. He holds "John the bastard" responsible, he mentions Don Pedro too.

  2. Write an exploration of the 'dark' elements present in 'Much Ado About Nothing'

    Their relationship brings a lighter mood to the play, and at times is extremely amusing. As with most of the play, Shakespeare still retains an element of darkness throughout their relationship. From the very beginning the reader is given a hint of a past relationship between the two, which ended

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