English essay, Much Ado About Nothing
In this play, Shakespeare pairs of Hero with Claudio and Beatrice with Benedick. Using quotes from the play, discuss why Beatrice would never marry Claudio and why Benedick would not find Hero to be as suitable as a wife for him as Beatrice. In this essay, I am going to look at the characters of Benedick, Beatrice, Claudio and Hero and go into detail on what they are like and how they view love. I will also look at why Beatrice and Benedick have a relationship and why Claudio and Hero also have a relationship but then specifically looking at why Beatrice would not marry Hero and also why Benedick would not marry Hero. From the beginning of the play, it is made very obvious that Benedick and Beatrice are suitable for each other and Claudio and Hero are suitable for each other. The reason for this is because Claudio and Hero’s character are very similar and they think in the same way just as Benedick and Beatrice think things and see things in the same way as each other.
In the Elizabethan times, Beatrice’s character would not be seen as a typical woman of the Elizabethan era. Beatrice is a very feisty, cynical, witty and sharp character who completely disagrees with the rights woman had in those times. Mainly throughout the play, Beatrice refuses to marry as she thinks she has not yet discovered the perfect, equal partner but also because she doesn’t want to eschew her liberty and submit to the will of a controlling husband. We know this because she quotes that she ‘cannot endure to hear tell of a husband’. This tells us not only is she completely against the idea of marriage, but she is also a very independent and determined woman. Beatrice can also be seen as a vulnerable woman in some parts of the play, especially when she hears Hero describing that Benedick is in love with her she opens herself to the sensitivities and weaknesses of love. Beatrice says ’and Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, taming my wild heart to thy loving hand. If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee’. Beatrice has suddenly fallen in love with Benedick and her vulnerability has overcome her as she is saying that if Benedick loves her, than carry on loving her and she will love him back. This is a major quote from Beatrice as this is where we see her changing the way she thinks and feels.
A very strong contrast to Beatrice’s character would her cousins Hero’s character. Hero’s character is seen as a typical unmarried Elizabethan woman who is very innocent and obeys her father at all times. She is a very kind, loving, gentle and beautiful woman who is also very passive and forgiving. When Hero is in mixed company she is quiet as she says more when she is with just woman. This may be because she sees herself lower down than men in society so feels to portray her acceptance of this; she has to not be heard in front of men. We can see that Beatrice’s and Hero’s characters are completely different; Hero is the weaker one, the small, pretty, silent girl while Beatrice is the vivacious, humorous and witty character. Despite their differences, they still get on very well.
Benedick and Claudio’s characters are also are a very strong contrast to each other. Benedick is a very clever, strong character, who is very independent but can be easily tricked. Like Beatrice he vows to also never marry saying that if he does ever marry ‘hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me’. He see’s marriage as such a bad thing and is sure he will never become of it so he makes up a consequence he wants people to do to him if he ever did end up marrying. Benedick engages with Beatrice in a competition to outwit and outsmart one another by insulting each other. His friends and other people see deeper than just the insults as they think both Benedick and Beatrice like each other. Benedick hears Claudio and Don Pedro discussing Beatrice’s desires for him. When Benedick hears this, his emotions also overcome him just...
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