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In this study, I will be exploring the way in which the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick is presented in Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare.

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Introduction

Beatrice and Benedick In this study, I will be exploring the way in which the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick is presented in Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare. Much Ado About Nothing is a play that presents the vast and sometimes ridiculous outcomes of deception. One of William Shakespeare's many comedy plays, Much Ado About Nothing differs from most of the other comedies in that it has naturalized the romantic materials. In this romantic comedy two sets of lovers share the spotlight. Most of the plot's action is devoted to Claudio and Hero, who eventually come together despite various predicaments preventing their union. The plot which concerns the relationship between Claudio and Hero, in contrast to the parallel plot of Beatrice and Benedick has much in common with Shakespeare's later plays therefore in my opinion, their relationship is not as interesting or profound as that of Beatrice and Benedick. In the opening scene of the play the audience discovers that there was a battle being fought and several men are on their way home from the battlefield. Beatrice asks a messenger about one man in particular-who turns out to be Benedick. When she asks this messenger about him, she doesn't use his name directly, she instead calls him, "Signor Montanto". By using this reference she is obviously being ironic. Beatrice could be using this term to mean a move in fencing, which is an upward thrust. Also, the way she pronounces it, Mount-on-to, could describe a specific sexual connotation. ...read more.

Middle

Benedick counters this when he says: Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted. And I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none Here, he saying how can that be, he has never loved anyone nor will he ever. Benedick knows that "all ladies" admire him but he won't accept the charges from Beatrice because he has never been in that situation before. Some time passes and then the masked ball scene occurs. This is a dance where every one is wearing a mask of some kind and Beatrice and Benedick are dancing together. In this scene Beatrice knows that it is in fact Benedick she is dancing with. Benedick is aware that his dancing partner is Beatrice as well but uses his false identity to find out what she thinks of him, without realising that she is as aware of his identity as he is with hers. Beatrice uses this time as the perfect opportunity to toy with Benedick as she pleases: Why, he is the Prince's jester, a very dull fool. Only his gift is in devising in him, and the commendation is not in his wit but in his villainy, for he both pleases men and angers them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the fleet. I would he had boarded me. By this comment, Beatrice again attacks his wit, but this time right to his face. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice and Benedick have been well acquainted for a long time, I know you of old�, whereas, Claudio and Hero barely know each other before they decide that they love each other. In Much Ado About Nothing there are three pairs of lovers. One is the idealised more popular love, Hero and Claudio. Another is the love that thrives on conflict and tension, Beatrice and Benedick. And the last is the more vulgar and squalid side of love, Margaret and Borachio, which is purely sexual. Although at first sight one pair of lovers seems to fulfil the stereotype of true love, after carefully analysing one eventually sees that Beatrice and Benedick's love seems to be the more authentic. Overall Beatrice and Benedick's relationship seems altogether more genuine. I regard their relationship as one of the most engaging and entertaining of Shakespeare's creations. Both Beatrice and Benedick are essences; they are the progenitors of the clich�s of the woman-hater turned lover and the ice-queen turned golden-heart. Both of them experience a very similar sequence of events, both work with their respective tutee's in love in the same way, and both come to realise their love for each other through tricks played upon them by their own friends. In this, Benedick and Beatrice are really the true soul mates of the story in that they truly seem to be of the same cloth and of the same heart - two halves of the same whole. Their change from enmity to love covers the course of the entire play and, in many ways, is much more engaging, amusing, entertaining, and ultimately rewarding than that of Hero and Claudio. Isobel Manley 6RCR ...read more.

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