Appreciation of a Shakespeare Play
‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is one of Shakespeare’s less complex plays in terms of deep thinking and ideas, but what it lacks in this sort of substance it makes up for in grand, witty and intricate speech. This essay will explore the literary devices that Shakespeare employs in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ during Act II Scene III and Act III Scene I and what effect this has on the audience. These two scenes run almost in tandem in terms of plot as we see, in Act II Scene III, Benedick being coaxed into believing that Beatrice is in love with him and Beatrice tricked into thinking the same of Benedick in Act III Scene I. Shakespeare uses metaphors to different effect, but in these scenes they are used to drive the plot and to better understand the characters. When Hero speaks about Beatrice in Act III Scene I, the metaphors she uses depict how harsh of tongue she can be, ‘If fair-faced, She would swear the gentleman should be her sister; If black, why, Nature, drawing of an-antic, Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed; If low, an agate very vilely cut; If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds; If silent, why, a block moved with none.’ These metaphors also describe how she would behave towards Benedick if she knew of his ‘love’ and fuel the reverse psychology being used against her. Claudio repeats a phrase three times when he knows Benedick is listening ‘she says she will die, if he love her not; and she will die, ere she make her love known; and she will die if he woo her’ this overly dramatic portrayal of Beatrice reinforced with the repetition drum this image into his mind and fuel the reverse psychology being used against him. The imagery that Shakespeare uses in both scenes is very animalistic and the animals described enable us to gauge a sense of their behaviour. The power struggle in Beatrice and Benedick’s war of words is also reflected in the animal imagery, as is the sexual nature of the characters’ own animal...
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