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

In the final scene of 'Much Ado About Nothing', Benedick says, "Man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion." Discuss this paying particular attention to the relationship between men and women in the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shakespeare Essay - Much Ado About Nothing In the final scene of 'Much Ado About Nothing', Benedick says, "Man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion." Discuss this paying particular attention to the relationship between men and women in the play. Focus your essay upon Act 1 Scene 1, Act 2 Scene 3 and Act 4 Scene 1. However you may comment upon other scenes where appropriate. 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a play, which displays the conflict between men and women in Elizabethan times. The social attitudes of both sexes at that time are clearly portrayed throughout the play along with the two types of love relationships between men and women. 'Man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion' the phrase said by Benedick at the end of the play, appears to me to be a confused remark made by Benedick after studying the acts of men and women throughout the play. He doesn't seem to understand how stupid man and women can be when they are in love; and it is love, which makes people do uncharacteristic acts and seem very different amongst their peers. When looking at the quote, it would seem to me that the focal point would be the word "giddy", and by saying giddy, I think Benedick could mean: stupid, strange, off-balance, disorientated, irrational, unclear, inconsistent or confusing. The phrase begins with "man is such" and by saying "man" I would believe that he is referring to not just man but mankind as a whole as they may seem disorientated or off balance because of their love for another character. ...read more.

Middle

Benedick I feel lists all these qualities in such a concise manner so that the image portrayed is of a woman that could never be so perfect; I think this is one reason Benedick lists for not falling in love. The image he creates is of a woman is one that simply would not exist in that time and the only character to satisfy a minority of the qualities is Beatrice. He then hides behind a hedge in the attempt of listening to what 'Monsieur Love' and Claudio have to speak about. Benedick continues to listen to what the two males have to say about Beatrice: "What was it you told me of today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick", "she loves him with an enraged affection". It is words such as this, which deceive Benedick; He is led to believe that Beatrice is deeply in love with him. A lot of animal imagery is also used by the men when speaking about the love Beatrice has. "The fish will bite" a reference to hunting; and it is Benedick who plays the fish and the men who are the hunters and hunting down Benedick. Here the use of asides lets the cast share secrets with the audience and this is where humour is incorporated as the audience find it funny to see the two different minds of people thinking totally different, and it is this which all seems so "giddy" to the audience, as Beatrice knows nothing of what's happening in this scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main contradiction between the two soliloquies comes after this rather pathetic excuse - "When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married." This is really self-explanatory yet seems so "giddy" to the audience because he is prepared to use it as an excuse when considering this fake love. The two soliloquies show how Benedick is actually feeling inside. It is an intended emotional contrast and comes over to the audience so strong because he is not actually speaking to anybody, at times it may actually feel like he is speaking to the audience themselves. It also shows the drastic change that has taken place in Benedicks character from the beginning of the play. It also is a good way of informing the audience of such maters that other characters shouldn't know and this is how humour is brought about by audience involvement. It also carries the whole "giddy" act forward as Benedick is so strange in this scene it seems unreal for a change so big to take place. The ending part of this scene shows that the deception has worked and Benedick is in deep belief that Beatrice has love feelings for him. I feel that this part of the play is the best example of how "man is such a giddy thing" as it clearly conveys how such a character as Benedick can be transformed because of love. ...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

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

    3 star(s)

    mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the sign of blind Cupid." This is even more proof that Benedick is not at all interested in love and uses hyperbole language to reflect his opinions Act 2 scene 1 Beatrice

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

    Here, this is a sign of Claudio's character progressing in maturity throughout the course of the play. Claudio is willing to sacrifice his own desires to repay the terrible thing he has done. This is a change from Claudio being wrapped up in himself and not being selfish.

  1. Much Ado About Nothing - Is the title, "A Merry War" a suitable alternative ...

    If a woman had had sexual relations before a marriage she would loose all respect and she would even loose her "social standing". This is why Hero being accused of infidelity was such a huge ordeal. Her father, Leonato, is horrified that " her honour has fallen into a pit

  2. Act 4 Scene 1 is often considered a key scene in 'Much Ado About ...

    Leonato, Hero's father is known through the play up until this scene to be a kind, gentle character who wishes for nothing more other than his daughter to be happy. However in this scene a dramatic change in the character of Leonato appears and much fury comes around him.

  1. How Beatrice and Benedick's relationship is presented in Shakespeare's comedy 'Much Ado about Nothing?'

    'Doth not the gentleman deserve as full as fortunate a bed, as ever Beatrice shall couch upon?' doesn't Benedick deserve a wife at least as good as Beatrice? Beatrice listens intently, and hears that Hero believes 'she cannot love, nor take no shape or project of affection, she is so self endeared.'

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

    my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue." So you can learn from this that Leonato is giving some constructive criticism. Beatrice gets a surprise offer of marriage from the Prince even though it was thought that it would be Hero.

  1. Much Ado About Nothing - the relationships between men and women.

    The second event in the play that I will highlight is about a scene in the gardens of the Governor of Messina's house. Beatrice enters the scene and hides, as Hero and Ursula, two of the other characters in the play, have a discussion.

  2. Explain Benedick's change of heart by the end of Act 2 scene 3 ...

    As well as knowing Benedick is well respected we also hear is strong views against love and marriage in Act1 scene 1. Benedick says 'a professed tyrant to their sex'- meaning he does not like woman. In this scene Claudio confesses to Benedick of his love for Hero.

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