How does Shakespeare use the pairs of lovers to explore the themes of love in ‘Much A do About Nothing’?
Love is an essential theme in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Through comic scenes Shakespeare uses characters to explore his idea on love and marriage, using relationships to show the trial of love. In the play Shakespeare portrays Benedick and Beatrice as critics of love, whilst Claudio and Hero as depicted as conventional lovers.
Beatrice is a very confident, out-spoken and critical character, and thus doesn’t fit into Shakespeare’s traditional stereo-type of a woman. At the start of the play Beatrice’s view on love and marriage is that she doesn’t like the idea of it. She takes pride in being single and likes it that way. ‘I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me’. She would rather hear an unpleasant noise than to hear a man say he loves her. Through out the play the audience see Beatrice’s view on love change, towards the middle of the play she begins to warm to the whole concept ‘... And Benedick love on. I will requite thee. Taming my wild love to thy loving heart.’ If Benedick continues his love she will fall in love with him and be kind so they will marry. At the end of the play her whole view on affection for and marriage has completely changed. At first she does not want to admit she is in love with Benedick and is arrogant towards him ‘I answer to that name, what is your will?’ However, when their love for each other is proved she is keen to marry Benedick, but keeps her wits’ about her ‘I would not deny you… and partly save your life…’ She would marry him to save him from his love of her. As Beatrice’s personality is so strong and proud, many other characters find it hard to believe she will ever fall in love. In Act 3 Scene 1 Ursula and Hero are talking about Benedick’s love for Beatrice and how they don’t think she is a woman likely to fall in love because of her personality ‘…She cannot love, Nor...
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