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Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing Essay Question Juliet Dunsinberre argues that 'Shakespeare saw men and women as equals in a world which declared them unequal.' How far do you agree with this statement in relation to Much Ado About Nothing? In your answer, you should refer to the context in which Shakespeare wrote and consider how a modern audience might react. Introduction In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare portrays a common society in which a common role model of male and female ways of behaviour exists, and contrasts it with a deviant role model. It is Beatrice and Benedick who "misbehave". Beatrice�s behaviour and Benedick�s reactions are odd because they constantly work against society�s decorum. Shakespeare portrayed the common and the deviant behaviour in a way which is reflected in the characters� engaging in dialogue. Men and women engage in dialogue differently and this can be seen in the composition of the staged dialogues as well as in the stage directions, which indicate body language. In the following essay I will discuss and analyse how Shakespeare develops themes of equality/inequality between men and women in this play by discussing how these themes are developed in key scenes and through contrasting characters, and also by using textual evidence to justify my viewpoints, and showing how context affects interpretation. ...read more.


His grace hath made the match, and all Grace say Amen to it!" (II.1.278-280) This quote implies that by marrying Hero, Claudio isn't only getting a wife but is aggrandizing himself and also gets the status with the marriage. Shakespeare has also showed the audience how men and women are equals but live in an unequal world from the character of Beatrice with her quick wit, independence and humour and also from when she is very troubled at Hero's misfortune of being wrong fully accused and wants to get back at Claudio for what he had done at the Wedding; "O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place." (IV.1.301-302) This shows how unequal the world is because she clearly say's that a man could only do this but not a women because it is basically not lady like. From the play the audience can see how Beatrice doesn't really represent the common women from the period of time that the play has been set, she actually shows the attitude and behaviour of a women from this period which we are living in. The gulling scenes are of great importance from when Benedick reveals his attitude towards marriage and love in his first speech in act 2 scene 3 lines 8-34, "Seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love," (II.3. ...read more.


In a way by saying this he implies that women are weak and frail and just by the slightest sound of bad news they die. Conclusion From reading the play and considering the time of when the play was written I actually do agree with Juliet Dunsinberre because as you can see from this play, they show Beatrice as more of a dominant character which represents women as being equal to men, where as Hero is more of a weak and frail character and is shown as an object the way she is given to Claudio and how she is given back to Leonato, by this they show how unequal the world is, and as they say the ball is men the men's court. If there was to be a more recent production my view to make it more successful is to continue to show the shaming scene and to show Claudio's behaviour, to show the audience he is still 'weaker' than a women and then show Hero at the end not accepting to marry him but reject him and shame him. This would make this production to show men and women as equals in an equal world. End Of Essay Asim Jamaldin Asim Jamaldin Anne Diego AS English Literature ...read more.

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