How Does Shakespeare Introduce and Develop the Characters of Beatrice and Benedick?

How Does Shakespeare Introduce and Develop the Characters of Beatrice and Benedick?

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Much ado about nothing was written by William Shakespeare in 1595.It is about relationships, love, deceive and hatred. Benedick (one of the main character) enjoys speaking his mind in a witty argument with Hero’s cousin and companion, Beatrice. Beatrice is also like Benedick. She is an Elizabethan feminist who is strong; she speaks her mind and lets everyone (including Benedick) know exactly what she thinks of Benedick. Shakespeare has created another couple who is totally the opposite of Beatrice and Benedick. Claudio and Hero are kind hearted, loving and let others decide their fate; whereas Beatrice and Benedick are fiery and determined. With Beatrice and Benedick, they are tricked into liking each other by ‘overhearing’ other people’s conversations that pertain to the other person. This causes them to fall in love. The wittiness used by Beatrice and Benedick also suggests that there is a deeper meaning behind what they say and that they are deceived by their own foolishness.

In the first scene, Beatrice talks to a messenger and Leonato. Shakespeare makes it instantly seems as if she and Benedick do not to get along, when she calls him "Signor Mountanto", which is very rude and suggests that he has a 'big head'. Even though she refers to Benedick in a negative manner, it is interesting that she mentions him before she mentions anyone else. Shakespeare shows this first sign of interest in a fairly subtle way; yet she obviously cares about him by asking if he has returned from war, this clearly being her first line of thought. In the first scene, before Benedick, Claudio, Don Pedro, Don John enter, Beatrice mentions Benedick many times, again showing that she really does think about him and is curious to know how he is. At the ...


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... saying 'Do not you love me?' there is a sudden relationship change again because he does know that she loves him but he wants everyone else to know that too. The word 'love' is a sweet example of imagery and has a concise style as to how he is saying it. Beatrice speaks her mind finally. 'I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in consumption '. She is still denying her love a bit. Shakespeare has used a verbose style to match Beatrice's character.

As a conclusion, Beatrice and Benedick have changed both in their attitudes towards the idea of marriage and towards each other since the beginning of the play. However, one must note that they will never get bored of each other while they are having their 'war' so they are definitely a good match. Personally I think that Shakespeare is a feminist is much ado about nothing.

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