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

In "Much Ado About Nothing" Shakespeare demonstrates the shallowness of the traditional view of courtly love and the greater value of real loving kindness; an appealing message whatever the audience.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In "Much Ado About Nothing" Shakespeare demonstrates the shallowness of the traditional view of courtly love and the greater value of real loving kindness; an appealing message whatever the audience. Shakespeare demonstrates the shallowness of courtly love mainly through Claudio and Hero, who are the central characters of the main plot. The couple's relationship however, does not appeal to the audience as greatly as the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick does. Even to an Elizabethan audience, where the traditional courtly love relationship is particularly common, the greater value of real loving kindness that Beatrice and Benedick share is far more likely to catch our attention. A courtly love relationship is typical mainly of aristocratic lovers, essentially with the unconsummated love between a bachelor knight and his lord's daughter. Secrecy and jealousy are often involved, and the idealistic relationship is often based on beauty and image. Shakespeare uses Claudio and Hero to portray this image as Claudio has chosen the daughter of Leonato (a respected governor). Hero is therefore, in terms of a courtly love relationship, a 'worthy' match for Claudio according to Don Pedro, particularly as she is Leonato's 'only heir'. She can guarantee him future wealth and status if her father approves of the couple. Hero appears to accept Claudio as a suitable husband, which is expected, as she has a father and must abide by her father's wishes and play by society's rules. ...read more.

Middle

Although the couple claim to detest each other, it is clear to the audience that they secretly have deeper feelings for one another or they would not feel the need to speak about them at all. This is confirmed, when they confess their love for one another very soon after being tricked by their friends, for example, Benedick tells us how he does 'spy some marks of love in' Beatrice. Even when the deception is revealed, the couple remain together, wit Benedick saying how 'I will have thee', showing that even though the couple have been deceived, they love one another despite this and their relationship is still based on real loving kindness. Beatrice tests Benedick's love for her when she asks him to 'Kill Claudio'. If he is prepared to put her before his friend, then his love for her must be genuine. What seems to be a test of unnecessary extremity to the audience is prevented by the discovery of Don John's treachery. However, Beatrice's demand causes intense excitement for the audience, particularly as he tells her that he 'will challenge him', proving his love for her. The testing and challenging evidently shows that Beatrice and Benedick's love is real and therefore more appealing to any audience, as the couple are ensuring that they make the correct and ideal match for one another. Claudio and Hero fall in love at first sight, based on appearance and status and without testing one another. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the true value of real loving kindness, demonstrated mainly through Beatrice and Benedick appeals a great deal more to any audience of the play. The couple have challenged and tested one another, they communicate alone regularly, throughout the play. The couple also share a physical relationship and tell their feelings for one another. Their love is therefore more genuine, realistic and easier to relate to, as well as being very entertaining. Claudio and Hero, however do not appeal as much to the audience, due to their shallow and artificial courtly love relationship. They conform to the traditional rules of Messinan society, by speaking in public, and having no physical contact with one another. Claudio and Hero share an idealistic relationship based on wealth, status and beauty, and featuring jealousy and lack of trust. Although this is recognised by most audiences as it is traditional, the relationship is still far more inferior to Beatrice's and Benedick's. Even an Elizabethan audience, where courtly love often occurs, still look upon Claudio and Hero as boring and unrealistic. In my opinion, Beatrice and Benedick are far more appealing, as they love one another, despite the deception of their friends and their previous behaviour towards each other in the play. Claudio and Hero share a shallow relationship, which is clear particularly when Don John's scheming and villainous plan is set into action. However, the couple both play by the shallow rules of their society and live in the same convention and are therefore, a suitable match for one another. ...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. Much Ado About Nothing - Elizabethan Women

    A simple misunderstanding or is it? Claudio then asks Leonato what he has to give back to Leonato to balance the priceless gift of his daughter (this goes back to Elizabethan views of marriage as a business transaction). Leonato replies that Claudio has nothing to give except to give Hero back to him.

  2. Are Beatrice and Benedick an ideal couple? Is the fact that they are roughly ...

    And Beatrice replies: 'Why no, no more than reason They then decide that they do not love each other, until Claudio and Hero produce letters that they had written to give to each other. Benedick and Beatrice then choose to marry, however, only because 'by this light I take thee for pity' and 'partly to save your life'.

  1. How does Shakespeare represent love in 'Much Ado About Nothing'?

    popular (for example Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight) so the audience would not have found this strange. The first of several misunderstandings takes place in Act 1.2 and although small, sets up the scene of confusion in the minds of the audience.

  2. "Much Ado About Nothing" in fact has a great deal to say about love ...

    Leonato and Hero don't have this kind of relationship, it is less warm, and they don't seem to support each other in the same way. Leonato and Hero have a more distant relationship, whereas Eppie and Silas are completely happy with each other's company spending many hours in the garden together working and talking.

  1. Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Consider the various forms of deception, which an audience ...

    Leonato's appearance is enough to convince Benedick it is not a trick. The next step by Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato is to entice Benedick by insulting him and saying he would be too proud to reveal his love for Beatrice, as he is contemptuous.

  2. Beatrice and Benedick. Their view about love about each other ...

    Furthermore, Beatrice has opinions and views on Benedick face. Beatrice at the start of the play insult him by calling him ugly, ' Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were', As shown by the quote, Beatrice thinks Benedick is ugly, if scratch was on his face it would make it better.

  1. How does Shakespeare Present Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as the 'reality' of love and ...

    Borachio?s actions jeopardise the relationship of Hero and Claudio. The deception of Borachio was one of evil purpose and deception from Don Pedro, Claudio, Margaret and Hero. This was a good intent as it bought Benedick and Beatrice together. The playwright contrasts the two deceptions to show that deception can be used both for good and for evil.

  2. How does Shakespeare Portray Women in "Much Ado about Nothing"?

    However Hero is not as confident and witty as her cousin, Beatrice. Although Hero is present in the first scene of the play she only says one line, "My cousin means Signor Benedick of Padua" throughout the entire act. The next act she is in is Act 2 Scene 1,

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