• 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' - study in detail the two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero.

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare I have studied the Shakespeare play, 'Much Ado About Nothing'. I will study in detail the two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero. Shakespeare did not make up the story line of the play, as it originally only included the Claudio and Hero love affair. Shakespeare added the Benedick and Beatrice plot probably to add interest to the play. At the time that the play was set women had a different role in society than they do these days. Women were seen as property of their fathers and when married that became property of their husbands. They did not have any social worth and what they inherited became their husband's. Quite often, husbands were chosen for the daughter; if not they had to be approved by the father before they were to be married. People at that time also did not marry into a different social class. It was seen as an outrage and disgrace for a woman to not be a virgin when they were first married, if they were from a wealthy family. If a wealthy family found out that an unmarried female relation was not a virgin they would disown her and in some cases send her to a nunnery. ...read more.


This is fierce loyalty towards Hero. She has no doubt in her faith that Hero is innocent. "Sweet Hero, she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone." She is very frustrated in not being able to take revenge on Claudio herself because of social restrictions on her because she is a women, even though she is driven by her strong belief and loyalty to Hero. "O God that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place." Benedick is taken back by the request from Beatrice to kill Claudio. He replies, "Ha, no for the wide world," because he refuses to kill him. His refusal is based on the fact that he is suspicious of the accusation: "Two of them have the very bent of honour. The practise of it lives in John the bastard. And if their wisdoms be misled in this," Beatrice refuses his love, as she believes that if he loved her then he would do that for her. She says, "You kill me to deny it?" Beatrice is very embarrassed to admit her feelings towards Benedick. When Benedick asked her in public, "Do you not love me?" She denies her true feelings, "Why no, no more than the reason." ...read more.


Beatrice and Hero, although very different in character, are very close friends and have a close trusting, loyal friendship. Also it is shown that they want the best for each other. Hero is sensitive and affected by other people's opinions of her. When she faints it shows the weakness in her character. She also seems unable to support herself. For these reason I sympathise with her. However, she is a product of the time the play was written and therefore cannot be criticised by a modern audience, which would expect more from her. I feel Beatrice is more like the women of today. Her independent personality shows her inner strength and her unconventional character. I admire her most, as she is different to most women in Shakespeare's time. She shows a wider range of responses throughout the play, being confident and also vulnerable at times. This variety would hold the attention of a Shakespearean audience as it does a modern one. However, I also admire Hero's optimism about the future. I think that the play demonstrates the contrast between women of today and the women of Beatrice and Hero's era. The contrast is brought alive in the play by a modern style woman's character being used along side a typical woman of the era. 1 ...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. Compare the characters of Hero and Beatrice, as they are presented by language and ...

    This rotten orange...She's but the sign and semblance of her honor In Claudio's speech he is denouncing Hero, Shakespeare uses the image of an orange, how on the outside it looks ripe and tasty but on the inside it is rotten and sour.

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

    For the first time Benedick is putting a women first, we have never encounter this before in Benedick's character. If we take a look back to the first scene we can just see how much he has changes for ourselves.

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

    We witness Hero's honour being destroyed; Claudio calls her 'a rotten orange' (meaning that she looks fine from the outside but inside she is corrupt), an 'approved wanton' and talks of her 'pure impiety and impious purity'. Shakespeare presents her as an innocent victim; this is a different Hero from

  2. Much Ado About Nothing clearly shows the attitude of the Elizabethans towards women and ...

    This quotation shows that Claudio wishes to make it clear that he has not lost his virginity. For Margaret, the gentle woman, who cares for Hero things are slightly different. Margaret does not have the same pressure as she does not have wealth or status so it is not as essential.

  1. How Shakespeare portrays Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

    During the period of Elizabethan England, marriage was a very important matter to people especially of high status. Usually it was the father's decision as to whom he gave his daughter to and is was seem as a shame if the daughter interfered with any decision made about her marriage.

  2. Discuss the character and role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. What do ...

    loved them, but they are quick to change their mind about loving one another and soon admit it soon after this conversation. The audience can see that also they are very similar to each other for they use the same phrase to retort back to each other , pushing their love-hate relationship further.

  1. Much Ado about Nothing Task: Which character do you feel more sympathetic towards ...

    This is accomplished, and she tricks Claudio into marrying her by pretending to be a look-alike cousin of Hero. This plan is introduce when Leonato says to Claudio, " Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter, almost the copy of my child that's dead, and she alone is heir to both of us.

  2. Compare and contrast the characters of Benedick and Claudio in

    easily lead by Don John into publically embarrassing Hero on their wedding day. This shows just how gullible Claudio is and as he doesn't think to ask the truthfulness of Don Johns accusations. This also shows that Claudio is na�ve as he trusts Don John without any proof of his accusations.

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