• 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: Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers. Consider their attitudes, actions, language, love, and audience reaction to their stories.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Essay Question: Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers in 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Consider their attitudes, actions, language, love, and audience reaction to their stories. Ideas for structure: 1 Introduce the play, explaining the role that the lovers play, and how, immediately, we are shown the differences between youth and experience 2 Assess the relationship of Beatrice and Benedick (very untraditional) a. Hint at its 'internal nature' (how the relationship is initially for the benefit of the 2 individuals themselves rather than for the other) b. Look at their behaviour towards each other (brother/sister relationship (very comfortable around each other, fiery bickering, competitive) c. Example of the reversal of the gender role in Shakespeare's time (Benedick hiding like a girl in the garden outside the house, Beatrice demanding that Benedick kill Claudio (and Benedick agreeing), Beatrice always being strong (having the last word and sexual innuendo in Act2 Scene1 (which would have surprised the audience at the time) whereas Benedick is a somewhat foolish character - they men ridicule his inability to love, and he has the only soliloquy) d. Give examples of the language used (prose versus verse when the lovers are talking to each other) ...read more.

Middle

at the latter end of the 16th Century. The conflict between how one is supposed to act (played by the younger couple) when contrasted with a more liberated couple (Beatrice and Benedick) is made abundantly clear from the off when Beatrice interrupts Benedick's conversation shamelessly2 (Beatrice: I wonder that you will still be talking, Signore Benedick, nobody marks you - Act 1, Scene 1) - their acid wit and 'Merry War' is charming to 21st century viewers, though it must have been shameless to Shakespeare's contemporaries; Beatrice being so forthwith and Benedick allowing himself so emasculated. Their relationship is very much self-satisfying, for personal gain, whereas Hero and Claudio's is more noble, more archetypal, more perfect. The young couple have to be seen to be doing the right thing, no matter the cost, whereas the more experienced pair will settle only for what is satisfying to them, having we are told, both loved before, and by implication had their hearts broken. The fear that they show is mirrored completely by the young, naive love of the teenagers. It's not fair to accuse Benedick and Beatrice of pure bitterness though, as their interactions are much more complex: they are so comfortable around each other that passion has almost ...read more.

Conclusion

At the dance, Leonato reminds Hero what her answer is if the Prince should woo her, even though she may have feelings for Claudio. She appreciated that her life is 'to do the greater good" rather than to pursue her own personal comfort, and forgiving Claudio for doing what he thought was the right thing is just what we should expect of her. There are beautiful qualities and lessons that any audience can learn from. Compare this with how quickly Claudio believes he has been tricked and loses faith (Claudio, in verse: ...'Tis certain so, the prince woos for himself, Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love....Act 2, Scene1) - first by the Prince and then by Hero - and how he is unwilling to forgive (and unable to imagine he has seen anything other than the truth) in both cases until proved wrong. Perhaps Shakespeare is pointing at youth and showing us how impetuous, principled, and fickle it can be, and how a little experience may make one tread a little more carefully and seem a little ridiculous. ...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

    How does Shakespeare present the developing relationships of the lovers in the play?

    5 star(s)

    His response in words: " Not sad, my lord" (Act 2 Scene 1 line 219) which said in a most childish way establishing the young, immature state of his mind, but this quickly recedes when Don Pedro explains the situation.

  2. Compare and contrast two characters from 'Much ado about nothing' as presented by Shakespeare.

    enhancing the romance in the play and signifying a transformation in Beatrice. Indeed by the end of Act 3 scene 1, Beatrice and Hero are showing certain similarities.

  1. How does Shakespeare represent love in 'Much Ado About Nothing'?

    Here, Don John tells Claudio and Don Pedro that Hero has been unfaithful. Claudio has no proof yet of this accusation and Don John is well known for his evil ways but he is still willing to put Hero to shame without considering what she has to say.

  2. How does Shakespeare reveal Claudio's character to the audience through his use of language ...

    and to tell everyone that she has died of grief because of the accusation. Claudio still isn't thinking of anyone but him self he is thinking of Hero but only in away that he wants to ruin her life permanently.

  1. Compare and contrast the two pairs of lovers in 'Much Ado About Nothing', their ...

    We can see this throughout the play, for instance when she is given to Count Claudio to be betrothed. Leonato says, "Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes: his grace hath made the match". Leonato talks about Hero as if she is a 'thing' in his possession to give to whom he pleases.

  2. What attitudes are displayed about the roles of women in the play 'Much Ado ...

    Katherine is somewhat attracted to Petruccio for these attributes, but she also decides to marry him because of her fear of being an 'old maid'. Women in Elizabethan times were also looked upon with suspicion if unmarried, and they were sometimes thought to be witches.

  1. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the two pairs of lovers in 'Much ...

    If it was not before, now it is definitely clear that they were in some kind of relationship before but are no longer. However, the passion that is still between them suggests that they still have strong feelings for one another.

  2. Analysis of the themes of pairs and communication in "Much Ado About Nothing".

    The reason why they do so, unintentionally, is because they have feeling for each other. Through the long dialogues of argument between Benedick and Beatrice, the couple has learned about each other and trusts each other. This comes to use at the critical moment when Benedick and Beatrice reveal the love for each other.

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