Analyse Act IV Scene I (Lines 148-247) of Much Ado About Nothing
Act IV Scene I - Lines 148-247 This extract depicts the immediate aftermath of Claudio's public shaming of Hero. A battle of egos ensues between Friar Francis and Leonato, who both think that their course of action is the best - Leonato through coarse, passionate revenge and Friar Francis through rational, logical planning. Shakespeare presents to us the balance of turn-taking between Francis and Leonato as a battle for dominance. Neither seems to make any ground over the other, until Friar Francis has an extended turn, after which Leonato's turns shorten. This illustrates Leonato's resignation and acceptance that the Friar's plan is the more worthy. In addition, Shakespeare uses shared lines, for example where Friar Francis suggests "Pause awhile" to show interruption in an attempt to gain power. Both the characters do this, but Friar Francis then manages to foil Leonato in his extended turn by talking in extremely long compound sentences - giving Leonato no chance to interrupt. The sentences used by both these pivotal characters tend to be declarative, as Shakespeare illustrates how they both give out a lot of information and make statements in order to quell the other. The series of declaratives suggests that neither will be moved in their beliefs. In addition, Shakespeare uses a series of imperatives such as "Call me a fool" to show an aggressive move by the Friar to
Beatrice says of herself that she was born to speak all mirth and no matter. To what extent do you consider this to be a fair summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing?
Beatrice says of herself that she was "born to speak all mirth and no matter." To what extent do you consider this to be a fair summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing? Many would believe this to be a understated summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing because Beatrice is not just a humorous character but a strong role model for both Shakespeare's time and for a modern audience defying social expectations and being equal to her male counter parts, she is the heroin of the play and even though speaking "all mirth" which would probably be expected from a lead Shakespeare role, however she is much more that that. Beatrice has the most depth to her character in comparison to other characters than simply humour. Thus the statement not doing Beatrice justice as she has the most positive influence over the other characters. To an Elizabethan audience the story line of Hero and Claudio would be familiar because of the traditional views held by their characters, and so the audience would have expected Hero to be the romantic lead of the play. However, Beatrice's 'emotional gravity,'¹ eventually leads the importance of her role to go beyond that of Hero's, whilst still maintaining the humorous aspect essential to her character. It would seem definite that Shakespeare is making a criticism of the
How is Benedick presented in the scenes leading up to this point?
How does Shakespeare present Benedick at these points in the play? (Act II Scene III - 7-28, 181-213; and scenes leading up to this point) In these two extracts, Shakespeare provides two very different presentations of Benedick. The first: misogynistic, marriage-fearing Benedick which he projects to his audience. Second: the warm-hearted, love-sick Benedick who, despite his fiery demeanour, is very much in love with Beatrice. In the first part, Benedick soliloquises about the man who "dedicates his behaviours to love" is a fool, and the irony of becoming the "argument of his own scorn." This pre-empts the drastic change in Benedick's behaviour later in the scene. Already we see a confident flurry of long, complex declaratives, signalling a kind of gusto to Benedick's emotions: he clearly feels strongly about this issue. However, the fact that he must say these things to himself may serve to highlight his insecurity with himself. It is quite obvious from earlier points in the play that Benedick is wholly uncomfortable with his feelings towards Beatrice and tries (unsuccessfully) to hide these feelings. In the next few lines, Benedick contrasts battle imagery such as "good armour" with softer, more romantic objects, such as a "new doublet." This serves to illustrate his contempt for Claudio's utter turnaround. His tripling in this section further emphasises both Benedick's
Critical appreciation of Much ado about Nothing
"Much ado about nothing" is Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's better-known comedies. The film is centered on the romance of Hero and Claudio and also the romance of Benedick and Beatrice. Hero and Claudio, undergo the conventional "love at first sight". From their first glance of each other at the beginning of the play, there is instant attraction, without having knowing much of each other. Beatrice and Benedick, however, have known each other for quite some time and though at first their squabbles can be easily mistaken for hate towards each other, it becomes very clear to the viewer the hidden attraction between the two. It doesn't take much effort to set the two up; they are in love with each after one simple trick that was carefully planned by Don Pedro, who plays cupid in the play. Kenneth Branagh's, the director of the play, is very learned in Shakespeare and this wealth of knowledge and wisdom, is greatly displayed in the film. "There is no one today who can do Shakespeare like Brangah," comments Steve Rhodes in his 1995 review of the film. The play is interpreted into something ore comprehensive and clearer, so that persons who are not accustomed to enjoying Shakespeare would find it quite easy to be intrigued and able to catch up with the plot of the play at all times. It is not the lines that create laughter, but the physical actions of
In "Much Ado about Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with a conventional and unconventional heroine in Hero and Beatrice. Which do you prefer?
In "Much Ado about Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with a conventional and unconventional heroine in Hero and Beatrice. Which do you prefer? In "Much Ado About Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with both the (Elizabethan) conventional and (the more modern) unconventional heroine in Hero and Beatrice, using a variety of effective literary methods, to demonstrate the extreme differences in character. A central theme in "Much Ado about Nothing" is that of the literary tradition of a heroine within the social conventions surrounding women. The literary tradition of the time (and indeed, in many cases, up to the present day) bestows the conventional heroine with beauty, modesty and etiquette, submissive and obedient to men's will. Literary convention also presents the heroine with a variety of obstacles which, through no fault of her own, she is forced to overcome. Ultimately, she prevails and the Shakespearean tale typically ends with a joyful marriage ceremony, often an alliance between two families. However, modern literary tradition breeds the unconventional heroine, an independent, assertive and articulate young woman, overcoming prejudice and injustice. In "Much Ado About Nothing", Shakespeare presents us with both the Elizabethan conventional and (the more modern) unconventional heroine in Hero and Beatrice, using a variety of effective literary methods, to demonstrate
Act III Scene ii Consider the dramatic significance of this episode in the play
Act III, Scene ii, from line 72 'My Lord and brother, God save you!' to the end of the scene. Consider the dramatic significance of this episode in the play. (750 words) As an audience, we can foresee the sinister turn of events which will be marked by the appearance of Don John in the latter part of this scene. Having earlier witnessed the deceitful and slanderous plot conjured up between he and Borachio during their discussion, implementation of the plan seems imminent. And yet the descent from the comedy of Benedick trying to pass off his love-sickness as toothache to the threatened tragedy of Hero's slander is perhaps far more rapid than we might have anticipated. The earlier jovial mockery of Benedick by Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio provides a striking contrast with the underlying malice of the deliberately ambiguous and disparaging remarks from Don John. Yet such ambiguity seduces Claudio and Don Pedro in a remarkably similar way to the double meanings and innuendo which deceived Benedick earlier on. Don John demonstrates an ability to manipulate his language in a successful bid to influence and target the weaknesses of his audience; that is, Claudio and Don Pedro. He has a shrewd understanding of the court and his insinuations about Hero play upon the tensions within it relating to honour and status. Don John opens with a customary courteous greeting before baiting
How effectively is the theme of deception introduced in the first two acts of Much Ado About Nothing?
How effectively is the theme of deception introduced in the first two acts of Much Ado About Nothing? Much Ado About Nothing is a Shakespearean comedy about love, jealousy, trickery, convention, female virtue, male honour, patriarchy and deception. This essay will be discussing how the theme of deception is introduced and how it is portrayed in the first two acts through means of disguises, language, secrets, eavesdropping, and misunderstandings. However while lots of the deception is meant as humorous and with good intentions, some of it turns into malevolent and dark and almost ruins the relationships between characters in the play. The first deception introduced in Much Ado is planned by Don Pedro and concerns Claudio's sudden love for Leonato's daughter, Hero. Claudio tells Don Pedro that when they were going to war he "looked upon her with a soldiers eye, that liked, but had a rougher task in hand" but now that they are back he has noticed "how fair young Hero is". After hearing this, Don Pedro plans a 'love campaign' with Claudio where Don Pedro "will assume thy part in some disguise and tell fair Hero I am Claudio, and in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart". Even though this plan is meant to have a good outcome and a happy ending it implies that Claudio is a coward when it comes to love and Don Pedro does not mind tricking someone to help his friend. However this plan is
Explain how act 1 scene 1 prepares the audience for the actions that follow.
Explain how act 1 scene 1 prepares the audience for the actions that follow. Act 1 scene 1 main purpose is to introduce the themes in the play, preparing the reader for the conflict between the contrasting outlooks of the characters. In the first scene we see the friendship groups between the characters also showing the potential 'lovers' from this initial description, Finding out who is friends with who can also give us explanations to who is going to defend each other and who may want to maliciously trick each other. Shakespeare also shows opposing traits between many characters, even between family members. Hero is polite, quiet, respectful, and gentle, whereas Beatrice is feisty, cynical, witty, and sharp. Similarly there is a contrast between Don John who has evil and deceptive intentions, and his opposite, Don Pedro, who is a loyal and noble person. Don John 'the bastard' and his vile comrades contrast with Don Pedro the noble prince and his heroic friends. The difference in the brothers' standing in society is mirrored in their personalities. In the first scene, we see an apparent reconciliation between Don John and Don Pedro but the jealous and malicious instincts of Don John can not hide themselves for too long "I can not hide what I am", he confesses "I am a plain dealing villain". It is ironic how frank Don John is about his character, as many of the
What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"?
GCSE English Literature Coursework: "Much ado about Nothing" What do we learn about the Society of Messina in "Much ado about Nothing"? Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much ado about Nothing is set in the seaport town of Messina, in Sicily. The play tells the story of Claudio, a knight of Aragon, Hero whom he falls in love with, her sharp cousin Beatrice and her male counterpart Benedick. The comedy of Much ado about Nothing derives from the characters themselves and the etiquette of the highly mannered society in which they live. The social order of Messina is governed by respectability, convention, fashion and tradition. Artificial gender roles, eavesdropping and fashion are the matter of which Messinan society is constituted, however frivolity, light-heartedness, flirtation and heroism are all also present giving Messina an altogether rather complex and multifaceted culture, and were it not for the deceit, lies and Denigrations of Don Jon, the antagonist of the play, and bastard brother of the regal Don Pedro, then the play would nothing but be a comedy, the plot itself being carried by a series of misunderstandings or 'notings'. These 'notings' are a prominent theme in the play, and provide the foundation for a great deal of the narrative of Much ado about Nothing, that in fact at the time would have been pronounced Much ado about Noting, which may be why the actions of
Note Notes, Forsooth, And Nothing: Themes in Much Ado About Nothing
Note Notes, Forsooth, And Nothing: Themes in Much Ado About Nothing At first glance, the reader is not likely to notice the immediate clue which presents itself in the title of William Shakespeare's comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. If one, however, would follow the example of a Shakespearean player in Elizabethan times and pronounce the word "nothing" as "noting," he would be introduced to a pun that is very significant because the ideas of noting, or observation, and nothing, are important themes in this story. Noting is something which motivates the characters to take actions which greatly affect the plot, and it is an idea which reflects the theme of reality versus appearance, in which reality is nothing and appearance is due to noting. First of all, it is the characters' noting which drives them to take actions which influence the plot. The earliest example of this is when Claudio falls in love with Hero. The relationship between these two characters plays a major role in the story, and it originates with Claudio noticing Hero - "Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato?" (Act 1:1, l. 158-59) Claudio then asks the Prince to woo her for him. The important chain of events which follows - the pastime of formulating a romance between Beatrice and Benedick, the scheme of Don John, the "death of Hero" - is all on account of Claudio's falling in love with Hero,