Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Essay

Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Essay

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Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The themes of love, marriage and courtship are an important part of
'Much Ado about nothing'; they are presented in a way that reflects
the attitudes of the society at that time. I will explore the
different attitudes of modern audiences and Shakespeare's audience
towards these themes in the play.

The two examples of relationships I have chosen are Beatrice and
Benedick's and Hero and Claudio's. This is because I think they are in
contrast with each other, at the beginning of the play it appears that
Hero and Claudio will be the perfect couple formed in a conventional
way, Claudio goes through the right channels and their marriage is
arranged. Later we learn that even though Beatrice and Benedick seem
to deeply dislike each other and think they would be a rather an
unexpected couple we realise later their love is more sincere and

The couples communicate on different levels; this reflects how
comfortable they are in each other presence. Hero and Claudio's
marriage was by proxy; Don Pedro was to woo Hero in Claudio's name.
Hero's father is then immediately asked for Hero's hand in marriage.
This highlights the fact that there is little if no communication
between the couple before they decide to marry. Both Hero and Claudio
are apprehensive, Hero a virtuous female who would not approach
Claudio and he is anxious in wooing for himself.

To a modern audience Claudio's love for Hero may seem immature and
spontaneous, 'my liking may too sudden seem' as even Claudio admits.
His love for Hero seems to be based purely on looks, 'in mine eye she
is the sweetest lad...

... middle of paper ...

...each other, 'here's our own hands against our hearts'. Through
their hands they have proclaimed their love by the action of writing a
poem, this is proof that they mean what they say. Beatrice and
Benedick are echoing each other's sentiments 'they swore that you were
almost sick for me', ' they swore you were wellnigh dead for me.' This
reflect the harmony that they now share, she is no longer the
'infernal Ate in good apparel.'

When Benedick stops her mouth with kiss some critics may argue that
now she has submitted her will and will no longer talk out of turn in
my opinion it symbolises the end of their 'merry war' and the start of
their marriage because of the harmony that has been revealed in their
last sentiments.


Cambridge school Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing first published

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