In Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare focuses a great deal of time to the ideas of young, lustful, and intellectual love. Claudio and Hero, Borachio and Margaret, and Benedick and Beatrice, respectively, each represent one of the basic aspects of love. Shakespeare is careful to point out that not one path is better than another. The paths are merely different, and all end happily. Shakespeare also explores the different aspects of courtship, weddings, and the different facets of love.
The aspect of courtship in Much Ado About Nothing plays a crucial role in the development of the characters and in the evolution of the play as a whole. The character that must undergo the greatest transformation during the courtship process is Beatrice. The first mention of courtship is in Act One, scene one, when Beatrice inquires about Benedick with fervor: "I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars or no?" Beatrice loves Benedick, and he loves her, but she is too proud to admit that she has feelings for any man. She denies her true feelings to herself so often that it has gone from being a ruse to being the truth she believes: "Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much? / Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!" (III. ii. 108-109) There Beatrice realizes how scornful she has been and vows to cast off her steel armor for one made of chocolate. Now, it isn't the chocolate with nuts or the fudge chocolate or even milk chocolate, but the chocolate that is white and pure so she can impress upon it her requited love for Benedick: "I will requite thee, / Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand" (III. ii. 111-112). Beatrice has...
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... ceremonial aspect of relationships and how wrong they can go if given the leeway with Claudio and Hero's wedding. Finally, Shakespeare shows how powerful the physical attraction between two people can be; so powerful that one becomes totally subservient to the other's commands and requests. The moral of the play: Know thyself, and thy neighbor.
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. Bevington 216-51.
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