Shakespeare

Topics: Love / Pages: 8 (2683 words) / Published: Jan 9th, 2013
How does Shakespeare Present Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as the 'reality' of love and Claudio and Hero's as merely the 'appearance' of it?

The idea of love at first sight was popular in Shakespeare’s day. Romeo and Juliet, for instance, fall in love at first sight. Moreover, Claudio’s methods of courting Hero through other people would have been an accepted tactic among Elizabethan nobility. Shakespeare's drama mocks love and human courtliness between two couples who take very different paths to reach the same goal by making the connection between inward and outward beauty. It shows different ways of how people are attracted to one another, and how their realization and definitions of "love" relate to their idea of inward and outward beauty. Shakespeare uses contrasts in between the two relationships of one which is full of praises and love at first sight. This is a sentimental conventional type which the other a pro longed war of words, but still the unspoken feeling of love. This seems as if Shakespeare is giving his opinion on the issue of true love versus sudden romance, and he is weighing in favour of true love. In the playwright, Beatrice and Benedick have vowed that they will never marry, they change their minds quickly and both decide that marriage is better than being single. However, Claudio and Hero do not enjoy the strong and equal relationship that Benedick and Beatrice have. Hero’s dilemma reminds the audience that a woman in the Renaissance was vulnerable to the accusations or bad treatment of men, including her own male relatives. Elizabethan Women were subservient to men.

Hero is often described using words linked to money such as ‘jewel’ and ‘worthy’. This suggests that she is highly regarded by the male characters not only for her looks, but for her position as the only heir of Leonato, who is a rich man. This was typical in the Elizabethan times, as all women came with a large sum of money that the husband would receive

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