How Does Shakespeare portray Women in Much Ado About Nothing?

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How Does Shakespeare portray Women in Much Ado About Nothing?

I believe eavesdropping plays a very important role in Much Ado.

Therefore, I have chosen to answer this essay question, as I feel

strongly about it. In the play, Shakespeare makes use of eavesdropping

by using it as a comic device, but also to sort out situations so that

the play is able to go on. I will be focussing upon two events in

particular to show this. Each event will present a different form of

eavesdropping being used. The first will be the gulling of Benedick

and Beatrice (Act 2 Sc 3 & Act 3 Sc 1). The second, when the Watch

overhears Borachio and Conrade discussing the plot against Hero (Act 3

Sc 3). Although both events create comedy, the scene with the Watch

seems darker due to other circumstances, such as the shaming of

innocent Hero about to happen. Whenever there is eavesdropping in Much

Ado, it is always there for one main purpose, to give reason for plot

development to proceed. It is a hint, preparing the audience for the

following events about to take place. The eavesdropping during the

gulling of Benedick and Beatrice is different to the one of the Watch.

In the gulling scenes, the other characters are aware that Benedick

and Beatrice are eavesdropping, this is a part of the plan to get the

two together. Where else Borachio and Conrade are unaware that the

Watch is listening and consequently put themselves in a mess.

The story involves two sets of lovers. Benedick and Beatrice, are

almost kept apart by the rebellion and pride of their own hearts.

Eavesdropping is the cause for these two to be brought together. The

plan was the perfect solution to make them give in to their hearts.

They wouldn’t have been capable of work...

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... does not get shamed but instead weds normally. The audience will be in

suspense and excitement of what is going to happen next. If the

eavesdropping in this scene didn’t happen, Don John the villain would

have got away, escaping from being revealed to everyone and escaping

from his punishment. In the end, his plan fails because of the

eavesdropping in this scene.

All Shakespeare comedies end with one or more marriages. Shakespeare

uses eavesdropping to bring the two couples together in the play. If

this did not happen there would have been no marriages in this

Shakespeare comedy, which would be breaking tradition. Without the use

of eavesdropping, Much Ado couldn’t have worked so well as a play.

Eavesdropping determined plot development, dramatic irony, dramatic

tension and comic devices. All of which make Much Ado a very effective

and successful play.
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