In ‘Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, the first we see of Benedick and Beatrice created a strong impression for me. This was shown through the use of metaphors, repetition and antithesis. The first impressions of Benedick and Beatrice are of a proud misogynist and Beatrice is the parallel to Benedick: a strong willed woman who hates marriage. It is important to the text because it show not only love is a universal solvent between them but Shakespeare offer a fresh insight as well as a slight criticism of gender roles
In the beginning of the text, Benedick and Beatrice playfully show off their wits by engaging a ‘merry war betwixt’ them. It is central that Shakespeare would have to impact the audience whether modern or especially the Elizabethan era with a pair of strong willed characters; whom the Elizabethans can relate to. Independent, assertive and unruly women commanded attention on stage, the traditional behaviour of femininity was under strain. Beatrice’s apparent indifference to marriage frees her to attack the vanity and hypocrisy of male privilege and honour. The attack could be directed at Benedick, whose reputation as exploiter of male privileges, is exposed through his first defeat: ‘I would my horse had the speed of your tongue. … I have done’. This illustrates that Beatrice’s wit is too quick for Benedick (‘speed of your tongue’) and he essentially concedes to her.
Benedick’s pride and misogyny is shown through the use of repetition and antithesis. His character is arrogant and overpowering. When Claudio asked Benedick about Hero, Benedick ‘as being a professed tyrant to their [women’s] sex’ produces a witty remark. He describes Hero, as ‘too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise.’ This description employs the use of repetition and antithesis to communicate Benedick’s contempt for women. The repetition of the word ‘praise’ shows the understanding that women are subject to men’s...
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