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Much Ado About Nothing - Which man would you prefer to marry? Benedick or Claudio? Consider the ways in which each is presented before coming to a decision.

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Introduction

Laura McPherson 11.4(7) Shakespeare Coursework - Much Ado About Nothing Which man would you prefer to marry? Benedick or Claudio? Consider the ways in which each is presented before coming to a decision. Benedick and Claudio are the main male characters in the play. They are very contrasting in their action, words and approaches to love, which is shown throughout the play. The first impressions we have of each are derived from their entrance and first words from Act1, Scene 1, when the soldiers have returned from war. Benedick shows he is a witty and somewhat cocky character from even his first line, in which he and Leanato are joking about the fact that Hero is Leanato's daughter. Leanato says 'Her mother hath many times told me so,' Benedick's reply being 'were you in any doubt, sir, that you asked her?' (1:1:79), showing his quick-witted and light-hearted nature. Claudio's first words however, speak of Hero, 'the daughter of signor Leanato' and he makes known to Benedick that he thinks she is a 'modest young lady' (1:2:119-121), meaning she is sweet and he likes her a lot. As the play continues we begin to establish more of the men's characters. ...read more.

Middle

but it is clear to both the other men and the audience that this changed image is due to his new-found love for Beatrice. The fact that he denies he is trying to impress her shows that perhaps he is embarrassed about his feelings though it could just be that he doesn't want the others to know he was eaves dropping on their conversation. Claudio again in this scene shows a romantic and sensitive side, saying 'I hope he be in love,' (3:2:13) which shows his friendship for Benedick, and also in a way could be a way of him expressing his love for Hero, in that he wants Benedick to have the chance to experience the same feelings. However, this calm, sensitive, side is soon brought to a halt when at the end of this scene Claudio is told Hero is being 'disloyal' (3:2:76). Claudio is told that Hero is sleeping with Borachio, one of the men of much lower status than he. He is told by Don John yet still believes there is some truth behind it as he states that if it is true he will 'shame her' 'in the congregation where (he) ...read more.

Conclusion

Benedick's witty, comical, light-hearted approach is attractive and would make him an entertaining partner. Beneath the outward bravado there is a sensitive side to Benedick; he loves deeply and is willing to back up this love with actions. These are important qualities to have in a husband. However, his cocky side can lead him to be antagonistic and argumentative at times and he does not always show his feelings making him sometimes difficult to understand. Claudio is a kind, loving and sensitive romantic. As a husband he would be good at showing affection and would care deeply for his partner, but his sensitivity sometimes turns into over-sensitivity, making him too quick to jump to the wrong conclusion. When hurt or upset he can be thoughtless in the way he acts, as we see in Act 4, Scene 1. This could be a problem in a marriage, though once he realises his faults he is very apologetic and would go to great lengths to show how sorry he is. So, in my opinion both men have advantages and disadvantages. In conclusion I suggest that they would both make good husbands, it just depends on individual preference, and in this play I think both couples are well matched. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The answer here is very extensive, and a little too extensive to be considered completely focused on what is asked, as a lot of it waivers from the steer of the question, though much of what is relevant is very ...

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Response to the question

The answer here is very extensive, and a little too extensive to be considered completely focused on what is asked, as a lot of it waivers from the steer of the question, though much of what is relevant is very good and suggests that, with a little more directional incentive, this candidate could aim for a high A grade. As it stands, this essay is of a high B grade standard. The focus on the question is evident, even if the candidate does stray slightly. They have done well to draw upon numerous points in the source text to inform their answering this question, as this shows a good understanding of the whole text - an imperative requirement for candidates hoping to achieve higher than a low C grade.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis, were evident, is very good, The candidate have dug to an appropriate depth with regard to the question and deducing which man - Benedick or Claudio - they would rather marry. I would perhaps have liked to have seen a more evidently personal response, rather than pure analysis as this particularly question does address the feeling of the candidate themselves towards the characters. And in this respect there should be a consistently personal response to all the points made, with links back to the question. Where this candidate lost marks is that they did not actually answer the question explicitly by stating which man they would rather marry even in the conclusion. Even though the question is quite ridiculously worded, it is imperative that the candidate does this.
Where the candidate excels is in the analysis of character that directly constitutes an appropriate appreciation of what makes a good husband, each point made backed up with an excellently-sourced quote from the play. Of course, it would have been far better if the candidate had outlined why the certain character traits they analyse do/do not suit them as a life partner but nonetheless, this is a sound analysis.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) here is extremely good. There is a range of diverse grammatical syntaxes used to vary sentences length and also a very sound knowledge of how to use complex punctuation in order to shape meaning in the answer. There are very few spelling mistakes - none at all that compromise the clarity of the essay. This candidate's QWC is very high indeed.


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