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

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare. Explore the confrontation between Beatrice and Benedick in Act IV, Scene I, and it's significance in the play as a whole.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare Explore the confrontation between Beatrice and Benedick in Act IV, Scene I, and it's significance in the play as a whole We learn in Act I Scene I that Beatrice and Benedick were once lovers "...I know you of old ...", however they are involved in a "... merry war ..." as Signor Leonato puts it. Beatrice's first line in the play "... is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars or no? ..." has many connotations. Mountanto is an Italian word, often used in fencing - it is an upward thrust. The idea of an upward thrust could be either a sexual innuendo, or it could mean that they are old sparring partners, or lovers, thus reinforcing the idea that they were once lovers, however now, they joust with hatred, not joy, with words, not with either passion or love. Also, it could be interpreted that Beatrice is very worried about Benedick, and is worried about whether or not he is still alive. As her first line, it makes it even more poignant that, even though she professes that she profusely hates Benedick, her first line is talking about him, albeit with a joke, and in doing this she is very clever. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Beatrice ...". Beatrice does not want to be comforted by Benedick, she wants to concentrate her feelings solely on Hero. In this scene, Beatrice attacks the forced subservience of the female role in her society. In fact, at the time that Shakespeare was alive, women very much had to play a subservient role in society. She attacks it so much for many reasons, among the facts that she is most definitely not the stereotypical woman of her day, for, as I have just mentioned, they were meant to, and in some cases forced to accept a role of passiveness in social circles especially when men were present. Some of her stringer outbursts make full use of the type of speech known as the tricolon. Tricolons indicate much passion, emotion and anger, particularly inn Shakespeare's writing, for example "Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone." Additionally, slightly earlier on in this scene, Beatrice uses the tricolon to take her anger out on Claudio - "... that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured ..." Before this, somewhat earlier in the scene, Benedick says to Beatrice that she loves him, and that he loves her, and swears that he will "... make him eat it [Benedick's sword] that says I love you not ..." ...read more.

Conclusion

there is no real 'merry war' between the during this exchange, and (iii) Act IV Scene I is the point in the play where wordplay mutates into swordplay - Benedick promises to challenge Claudio, and does it, instead of just saying it. Benedick has to chose between words and actions, and men and women, and chooses actions and women, which is most unusual if you compare him to Don Pedro or Claudio, who would have probably chosen words and men. Also, Act IV Scene I is an unusual point in the play for Beatrice, because she is not Lady Disdain, (scornful and arrogant), but she is selfless and passionate, and Benedick, too, appears to lose some, (or all), of his vanity. This scene can be interpreted as the undoing of Don John, Don Pedro and Claudio, for it was Don Pedro's idea to deceive Benedick and Beatrice into thinking that one loved the other, and in this scene, they have formed an 'alliance', and Claudio will now be challenged as a result of this. For Don John, it is unlucky, because the truth is uncovered about his malicious deceptions, and it is Benedick who will think of some fit punishment for him: "... leave him 'till tomorrow. I'll think of some punishment for him.. Until then, let us dance! ...", and it is quite possible that this is because he is full of happiness that he will be married to Beatrice very soon. Richard Moore, CJK 4/3 U8 27.01.04 ...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. Act 4 Scene 1 is often considered a key scene in 'Much Ado About ...

    Benedick to kill Claudio after the way he accused Hero of losing her virginity. Benedick refuses to do this, but has to make a choice between his friends and his love. From this, the audience is drawn to Beatrice and supports 'Hero', Beatrice wants to take action.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the relationship of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About ...

    This suggests that maybe he wanted to hear this for quite some time. In the film, he even falls off his deckchair with shock, which is funny. Beatrice is portrayed as a helpless victim. Claudio says that "down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses, Oh sweet Benedick, God give me patience".

  1. Discuss how Shakespeare creates the character of Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

    small and unworthy, making Benedick feel his has yet again the upper hand over a women. He also says she is "too little for a great praise", which turns us to think she is nothing special. This quote ends with Benedick expressing the fact he does not "like her".

  2. In the final scene of 'Much Ado About Nothing', Benedick says, "Man is a ...

    Imagery of a sea in incorporated into Benedick's speech now. An oyster is something that is hard on the outside yet on the inside they are soft and hold something precious. Benedick is aligning softness with a man, that they are becoming more feminine when in love.

  1. Consider the effectiveness of Act I, scene I as the opening scene of 'Much ...

    Shakespeare has effectively introduced the main strands of the plot into the play and has enabled the audience to incorporate themelves by hinting and questioning the characters and their foreshadowed agendas within the plots. The language is richly varied from the courtly and artificial to the blank and course.

  2. Commentary: Much Ado About Nothing Act IV Scene I

    Although Claudio earlier in the play in Act I Scene I claimed that Hero was the 'sweetest lady that [he] ever looked upon,' he now shows how easily language can be so deceitful and how men would rather trust each other no matter how evil they know each other to be, instead of trusting their 'loved ones'.

  1. Much Ado About Nothing' revolves around male honour and male friendship and that is ...

    At first Leonato is actually dumbstruck by Claudio's accusations and believes that Claudio is responsible for Hero's defloration and that he has supposedly 'vanquish'd the resistance of her youth, and made defeat of her virginity.' This takes for granted that if Claudio has 'known her' sexually he would be justified in questioning her virtue.

  2. Yet sinned i not but in mistaking. To what extent do you agree that ...

    "Confirmed, confirmed would the two prices lie and Claudio lie." This quote shows that they are making a point that they saw Hero in the window with another man but they are mistaken as Don John tricked them and they all believed him.

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