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The Characters of Claudio and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing - The Characters of Claudio and Benedick

Shakespeare's comedy, `Much Ado About Nothing' is a play revolved around the love and friendships of two young couples, integrated with each other through both friendship and love. Love and marriage are the two most prominent ideas in Shakespeare's comedies. The two couples are Benedick and Beatrice, an unpredicted match as they appear to be quite the opposite and are forever arguing in their poetic banter. The other couple is Claudio and Hero, the two who seem madly in love yet Claudio's untrusting and naive side takes power at one stage, in which the couple's relationship seems destined to be doomed. The two characters of Benedick and Claudio are very different in both personality and manner, much like the two couples previously mentioned. The play ends with a double marriage--the union between a fair young woman and a heroic war soldier, and the passionate match of a firebrand spinster to her avowed bachelor. Ideas of loyalty and trust are interspersed throughout the Claudio-Hero union; Claudio shows little loyalty or trust but is made repentant before the marriage can take place. As for the Beatrice/Benedick union, there is a strong sense of the uncontrollable unpredictability of love. Neither would like to admit they have fallen for each other, but they have little if any choice in the matter.

Benedick is the egotistical soldier who is the butt of all of Beatrice's jokes. He is the other involved in the "merry war" with the woman he is secretly (to start with) in love. He is confident and I got the impression he believes he is God's gift to women. He doesn't know it, but he is in love with Beatrice. It takes the tricky ...

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...like. This gives a rounded view on both Benedick and Claudio, so the reader feels much more involved with the characters and in a sense, knows them better.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Barton, Anne. Introduction. Much Ado About Nothing. The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. 361-365.

Lewalski, B. K. "Love, Appearance and Reality: Much Ado About Something" Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 8 (1968): 235-251.

Rossiter, A.P. "Much Ado About Nothing." William Shakespeare Comedies & Romances. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986.

Shakespeare, William; Much Ado About Nothing; Washington Square Press; New York, NY; New Folger Edition May 1995

Vaughn, Jack A. Shakespeare's Comedies. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1980
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