The Role of Love in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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The Role of Love in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare The role of romantic love plays a central part in the plot of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The way in which each character embraces the emotion shows a great deal about who they are, as well as the time in which they lived. Love, as defined by Shakespeare's characters, differs greatly from my own definition. However, the changeable nature of the emotion itself is what allows Claudio, Hero, Bene*censored*, and Beatrice to interact in a way that is both comical and entertaining. Perhaps the most obvious of all the differences between my opinion of love and Shakespeare's is the time frame in which 2 individuals grow to develop the emotion. This is most likely due to societal differences. During the time when Shakespeare was writing his plays, life expectancy was considerably shorter than it is today. For this reason, young people were expected to reach maturity at a much earlier age. Women were usually married well before the age of 20. By today's standards, that seems a very young age to enter into such an adult commitment. However, since life itself was shorter, people had comparatively less time to meet a mate, fall in love, marry, and have children. In my opinion, with anywhere from 70 to 100 years to live, there is certainly no time limit set on falling in love. Likewise, marriage should not be a bond entered into in haste, since ideally, it should last for many decades. To me, romantic love is an extremely powerful bond. Like a friendship, it takes time to develop. It is characterized by a desire to share every aspect of oneself, mind, body, and soul, with another person. The two people become best friends as well as lovers. For many, the ultimat... ... middle of paper ... ...rice and Bene*censored* are both compelled to each other in an irresistible way. Because both characters renounce love and the institute of marriage, they attribute this attraction to hate alone. When their friends finally trick them into thinking that each is in love with the other, both Beatrice and Bene*censored* are forced to examine the possibility of falling in love. Once this door has been opened, the two easily cross the line from hate into love. The foundation for their relationship is already established, which makes the transition natural. In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare plays with the concept of romantic love and its effects on those who experience it. Although Shakespeare and I would probably disagree on many of the particulars, I would have to admit that his interpretation of the word allows for a comical and highly entertaining piece of work.
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