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Much Ado About Nothing: The Deception of Benedick in Act 2 Scene 3

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Introduction

Much Ado About Nothing: The Deception of Benedick in Act 2 Scene 3 Deception plays a fundamental role in Much Ado About Nothing because it is one of the elements of laughter in it. It normally originates from Don Jon the bastard brother of Don Pedro, who wants to be the Prince causing havoc to Don Pedro and his friends. However this deception doesn't originate from Don Jon's malevolence, but from Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato, as they try and deceive Beatrice and Benedick that the other is madly in love with them. Don Pedro came up with the plan at the masked ball" I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules labour which is to bring Signor Benefice and the lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection", to amuse himself until his friends Hero's and Claudio's marriage begins. However this deception will not be an easy task as the two seem to loathe each other at the beginning of the play. Leonato describes that they have a "merry war", using an oxymoron as they argue constantly but enjoy it, especially when they have a "Skirmish of wit". The plot is hatched in the gardens, to lure Benedick to hearing their false private conversion. This leaves him unexpected to seeing their errors or enjoyment later in the play, making it easier to draw him in. As it is set in the garden it is fundamental the audience see Benedick as well as the others. ...read more.

Middle

When Benedick hears that Beatrice is in love with him, I would have him start to climb up the tree to get a closer view of Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio. The three friends must act that they do not know that Benedick is hiding nearby, to prevent him from suspecting any trickery. Leonato usually says the most important lines as he is the most trusted of the three. Due to this Benedick believes him as he questions them 'I'st possible? Sit the wind in the corner'. As Beatrice is like the wind and never can be in love. Don Pedro then starts to answer Benedick without him asking, reeling him in to the idea. This trapping image is also used by Claudio who states 'Bait the hook well, this fish will bite' However as soon as Benedick is lead to believe that Beatrice is in love ironically Leonato the most trusted of the three forgets his lines at the crucial bit. Here I suggest the three should huddle luring Benedick into believing that something is happening, until line 101 where the shock of Don Pedro causes Benedick to fall off the tree and into the pond. There Benedick will stay under the water until his line in 106 where he will raise up of the pond with pond weed all over him. At this point he will refer to Leonato with another epithet 'that the white-bearded fellow speaks it'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Benedick should then try and make himself look handsome and try getting the pond water off him, finally sitting on the edge of the main fountain. Subsequently they would start their dialogue. Humour flows through this part as Benedick has changed his attitude towards Beatrice calling her 'fair' which, differ from his other epithets, and also because of Beatrice enraged anger to Benedick, i.e. 'against my will'. Conversely, however much she insults him, Benedick thinks that it is a compliment. She then realizes that something is wrong as he said 'thank you' to her. When she says line 206 I suggest that she be holding a knife and scrolling her finger from the edge of the knife to the point and then flicking the point of the knife. After that I suggest that she leaves in a strut as her insults are not working against Benedick. There Benedick will be alone again at the centre of the stage thinking that he has impressed her as the deceivers said (the more she gets angrier the more she loves him). That is why he thinks that the line 'against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner' has a double meaning however because his mind is clouded by love he fails to see that there is no double meaning. Ironically his last line 'I will go get her picture (heart)' is not true as instead Hero and her maids do that instead in the following scene. Thus ending this scene filled with comedy, contemporary means and laughter. ...read more.

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