• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Shakespeare employs a wide range of literary techniques to define the characters of Beatrice and Benedick and to illustrate their evolving attitudes and relationship in the context of love.

Extracts from this document...


The play Much Ado About Nothing is attributed to the eminent playwright William Shakespeare and is generally assumed to have been written in later years of the sixteenth century. This light-hearted comedy is set in Messina, a bustling port in Sicily, during the Elizabethan Era, a time when strict social conventions governed the way men and women were expected to act. Throughout this play, Shakespeare employs a wide range of literary techniques to define the characters of Beatrice and Benedick and to illustrate their evolving attitudes and relationship in the context of love. The effective manipulation of wit, metaphor and soliloquy allow Shakespeare to portray Beatrice as a strong-willed and outspoken noblewoman who challenges the gender stereotype of the time. Through the liberal use of simile, hyperbole and soliloquy, Shakespeare deftly constructs the protagonist Benedick as a witty, self-assured nobleman who initially scorns the idea of love but whose attitudes are challenged as the play progresses. ...read more.


Later in the play, Shakespeare uses soliloquy to inform the audience of Beatrice's transformation from spinster to woman in love. A clever ruse by the characters Hero and Ursula leads Beatrice to expose her true feelings about Benedick to the audience. After overhearing the conversation between Hero and Ursula, Beatrice is convinced that Benedick is passionately in love with her but unable to express his feelings. Beatrice then proclaims, "And Benedick, love on, I will requite thee... To bind our loves up in a holy band,"(3.1.107-116). The use of soliloquy allows the audience a glimpse of Beatrice's inner feelings towards Benedick. Beatrice's statements express to the audience the complete reversal of her previous attitudes towards love and marriage. By her willing acceptance of Benedick's love and the idea of matrimony Beatrice is also shown to conform to the social conventions that she previously ignored. During the first scene of the play, Shakespeare uses puns to depict Benedick as an arrogant yet witty misogynist. ...read more.


In the final scene, Benedick advises Don Pedro "Prince thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife.."(5.4. 114- 115). The use of repetition enforces the Benedick's new support of marriage and his assumption that matrimony has positively influenced his life. This sudden change of attitude contrasts strongly with his previous stance on the issue of love. Shakespeare positions his audience to view Benedick in a much more positive light as he has shed his misogyny for devotion to Beatrice. Despite the initial opposition of Beatrice and Benedick to the idea of love and each other, by the conclusion of the play through an elaborate ruse played out by their friends they are reconciled and even fall in love. In the play's opening scenes the pair are depicted as staunch bachelors exchanging barbed remarks and assaulting each other with their wit. The characterisation of Beatrice and Benedick and the transitions of their relationship from "merry war" (1.1.45) to happy couple are integral to the depiction of the play's message: that no one is immune to love. ?? ?? ?? ?? 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 AS and A Level 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 AS and A Level Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Compare the Representation of Women in Hamlet (primary text) and Much Ado About Nothing ...

    This can be seen to agree with the view that Ophelia has not given way to Polonius and as such has remained in control. There is strong evidence in the text to suggest that Ophelia has committed suicide. Although Gertrude maintains that the branch broke and swept Ophelia down the

  2. Discuss in detail Shakespeare's presentation of women in Much Ado About Nothing

    The only time the audience is shown Hero's wittier and more relaxed side is when she is surrounded by only female company. Beatrice in Act 2 scene 1however, does not hold back with her opinions, when Antonio says "well, niece, I trust you will be ruled by your father" Beatrice

  1. Free essay

    Analyse the way Beatrice and Benedick speak to and about each other, up to ...

    In Act Two, Scene One, Beatrice is dancing and having a conversation with a masked Benedick. It is not clear, and remains the decision of the reader whether Beatrice truly knows that she is speaking with Benedick. She goes on to describe him as "the prince's jester, a very dull fool".

  2. In view of what we know of Beatrice and Benedick from Act I and ...

    The same goes to Beatrice and Benedick at the reunion, except they do not stare at each other as if love struck but moreover as if they cannot wait to resume their 'merry war'. This feeling becomes quite obvious when Beatrice speaks almost instantly after Benedick enters the conversation, it

  1. Explore to what extent, if any, Shakespeare presents Claudio to be an admirable character ...

    Despite this, Leonato still views Claudio as a suitable son-in-law, shown when he gives him Hero 'freely...as God' gave him her. Leonato's immediate response to the accusation that Hero is not a 'maid' is to accuse Claudio of vanquishing 'the resistance of her youth', showing he doesn't underestimate Claudio's hasty nature.


    heard them talk of one Deformed, they say he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it and borrows money in Gods name." This will again bring some laughs to the audience, as there is no third member to the gang called Deformed.

  1. Through comparing the relationship of Claudio and Hero with that of Beatrice and Benedick ...

    When Claudio discovers that Hero is not actually ?dead? they reunite and Hero herself certainly seems to have no compunction in reuniting herself with the man who publicly humiliated and abandoned her on the basis of malicious gossip and a contrived conception, which forces us to examine her motives.

  2. Explore Shakespeares presentation of Beatrice and Benedick in the play so far. How do ...

    he is not hurt by what he has heard, but the simple act of just talking about it reveals his pain, constructing comedy as he is not matching his words to his actions.

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