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much ado about nothing

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Introduction

'Much Ado About Nothing' Question - Trace the developments and changes in Benedick's character in the play 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Focus partially on the striking difference in his attitude to love and marriage in Act II Scene iii. 'Much Ado About Nothing' was written by William Shakespeare during the prime of his career. The play was written around 1598-1599, and is said to be one of Shakespeare's most amusing comedies. Even though, the play is a comedy, it also has a dark plot, which is the rivalry between the brothers Don Pedro, the Prince of Arragon and Don John, the bastard. Don John is linked with all evil in the play, and is the cause of Hero's faked death. The secondary plot is the change in relationship between Benedick and Beatrice; this is the joyful part of the play, as it ends with love and marriage. Benedick, a young lord of Padua returns from a victorious battle, with Don Pedro, Claudio, a young lord from Florence and other soldiers by his side. The whole city of Messina gets ready to congratulate Don Pedro and his men. When the soldiers arrive, they catch up with the household, however Benedick starts an ongoing verbal dispute with Beatrice: Benedick: 'What my dear lady Distain! Are you yet living?' Beatrice: A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours' [Act I Scene i] This clearly shows there is dislike between them. As the play goes on Benedick and Beatrice seem more content to be with each other, yet this is hard to see at the beginning of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Showing that she wants to know where he is but is perhaps scared of facing up to her feeling and also she may be afraid of being mocked by everyone because of the history of loathing they share. Benedick goes on to talk about women in general, it slowly becomes clear that he will never want to marry: 'Till all graces be in one woman, one woman will not come in my grace.' [Act II Scene iii] It is almost impossible for one woman to have all the qualities Benedick asks for. Which shows that if a woman had all these qualities, only then will he be interested in her, but it is impossible for a woman to have all these qualities showing that there will never be a perfect woman for Benedick. Benedick's reflections on the curious effects of falling in love are ironic in view of the trap in store for him. Some dramatic irony follows in the conspirators' conversation, where Benedick hears both truths and untruths about Beatrice, and learns some truths about himself. He makes virtue of his turn-about by claiming to show pity on the lady, by renouncing pride, and by acknowledging Beatrice's virtues. Benedick cites a proverb exemplifying change, the fulfilling of social obligations, and a pretty twist of intent with 'die a bachelor' and 'Live till I were married' as a defence against mockery and a justification of a change of heart. Benedick's and Beatrice's perceptions of each other soon begin to change. Benedick begins to believe in love. When Benedick first heard that Beatrice had feelings for him, he was surprised but slowly started to believe it. ...read more.

Conclusion

at all to get married, but after the trick was played on him and he found out that Benedick liked him his views about marriage and love began to change: 'I do love nothing in the world so well as you.' [Act IV Scene i] Showing that after the trick was played on Benedick and he realise that Beatrice liked him he started fall in love himself and didn't care if anybody mocked him anymore as long as he was with Beatrice: A college of wit- Crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost though Think that I care satire or an epigram.' [Act V Scene iv] Now that Beatrice has informed Benedick of her love for him, he does not care about me teased by his friends. It is possible to see from previous two quotes that Benedicks attitude towards love has vastly changed, as before the trick was played on him, he didn't like the concept of love and marriage but after the trick was played on him, he fell in love and get married to Beatrice. Personally, I think that both Beatrice and Benedick both liked each other form the start but they needed to here it from each other, this was impossible because of their stubborn ways, so their friends, Claudio, Don Pedro, Leonato, Ursula, and Hero had to take the first step for Benedick and Beatrice and play a trick on them. After hearing that they both liked each other, they began to change their perceptions from negative to positive views, of love, marriage and more importantly, each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1st January 2005 'Much Ado About Nothing' Nabeel Ali Mahtey 10A1 ...read more.

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