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What is the Dramatic Significance of Act 2 Scene 1 in 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

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What is the Dramatic Significance of Act 2 Scene 1 in 'Much Ado About Nothing' In 'Much Ado About Nothing' Act 2 Scene 1, the main plots are issued to the audience preparing us for the rest of the play. This scene is very important and influential as it not only gives us clues and an idea of what's to come but also informs us on the characters. It gives the audience their first taste of what the characters are really like and hints to the reasons of their dramatic change in personality further in the story. The three main characters I have chosen to analyse are Beatrice, Benedick and Don Pedro. Beatrice is very significant to the scene she helps the audience understand about that patriarchal society she lives in and the place of women in Elizabethan England. She is a very determined woman and herself is against the stereotypical view man held against women. 'thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt, I may sit in a corner and cry Heigh ho for a husband' Her language is very sharp and witty. She will not let anyone bring her down about what she believes. Even so, she has to deal with many problems and stand up to others to protect her own views Through most of the scene, she is seen as the voice of Hero. 'speak ,cousin' I think from a personal point of view although Beatrice loves Hero she finds her difficult to live with because they are so different in personality. Hero plays along so well with the stereotypical woman, she is also so quiet and confident with her life while Beatrice finds she always needs to hide her emotions that are packed into her own life. She is because of this challenged a lot by Leonato who simply echo's the males role in their patriarchal society. ...read more.


In Branagh's film they literally were. Branagh's lighting effects helped reflect the themes involved. Such things as candles would convey romance, love, and bright light show the liveliness. This excitement was also expressed by the music to help create the right mood and atmosphere to elaborate the theme going on. Lively music was heard wherever there was the comedy of Beatrice's and Benedick's bickering. However, in the scene Benedick came out quite self-conscious. When he got insulted by Beatrice he was hurt badly, it seemed to be his deepest anxiesty. In some ways, this could be true. Elizabethan aristocrats were exceptionally touchy about personal honour and reputation. 'I will be revenged as I may' His stubbornness and arrogance leaves the audience with this key quote, which encourages the audience to think about the consequences. Benedick continues to show his sardonic sense of humour when he says some abusive things about Beatrice. 'If her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her' He is saying that if her breath were as appalling as her doings all around her would die. Although he is coming through quite scornful, Shakespeare puts the sentence effectively together to make it amusing for the audience. The things that are said are not bluntly true, but are suggestions about if something happened that the consequences would be disastrous, in this case for the crowd side-splittingly funny. Their 'merry war' reaches its peak when the rest of the group approach in the scene. 'Oh God, sir, here's a dish I love not, I cannot endure my Lady Tongue' This image is rather ironic, as Benedick raves on about matters proportionally more than she does, so it is quite half-witted of him to criticize her about it. So untrue to his words because in Act 3 Scene 2 everything from how he speaks to how he dresses changes to win Beatrice's heart. The audience would have without doubt been excepting this. Benedick's hurt gave away his true feelings. ...read more.


He had such a strong and powerful persona that it is unbelievable he turned so two-faced. Although Don Pedro does look very cruel, he only in the end foolishly believes what he sees, however Claudio believes without hesitation what he hears. ' I will not think it'- Don Pedro ' May this be so?'- Claudio Anyone could have fallen for Don John's trap if seeing, but Claudio has been gullible and tolerant from the start. 'And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood:' He speaks in verse because of his bereaved disposition and he wants to further indicate his character and love for Hero. He is represented this way by Branagh in the film. His soliloquy, which I just quoted from, is backed by slow disconsolate music showing his bitter and dismal self. He jumped to the wrong conclusion even about his friends. Claudio also wore a cherub mask. This child like mask brings out his innocence and inner child. His naivety suggests that he maybe does not trust all the people around him. Don Pedro's change in character was unpredictable; it's recognizable that this was planned by Shakespeare because of the impressive response from the audience that was achieved. Overall, there was a different theme involved in his development that in Beatrice and Benedick. While Beatrice's and Benedick's character progress involved love and comedy tied together Don Pedro's had more to do with romance deceit and tragedy. To conclude, this scene has been dramatic because of its necessary and substantial content. The audience first experience what the characters are like so it is easy to conceive why the characters personas change so much. The themes are brought out so they get a chance to deduce the main plots that will be involved in the play and the sub-plots that lead to them. All these influence Act 2 scene 1 and help it progress to create the rest of the dramatic and impressive play. I hope you have enjoyed my coursework. Katya Vassilieva ...read more.

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