In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedict rant about marriage for most of the beginning of the play, while Claudio raves about how wonderful it will be being married to Hero. Yet in the end, Claudio exchanges his marriage to Hero for an opportunity to bash her in public, while Beatrice and Benedick marry despite that they were mortal enemies for most of the first three acts. How did the situation swing around to this degree? Beatrice and Benedick had been using the most extreme metaphors to demonstrate their scorn of each other and of marriage, and Claudio had been doing the same to demonstrate his love of Hero. Not only did none of these three characters mean what they were saying, but meant the reverse, and the people that plotted to bring them together or pull them apart plotted because they understood on some level what each really wanted.
Beatrice and Benedick seem to have had some relationship before the beginning of the book that ended badly. This suggests that the initial situation between Beatrice and Benedick was one of mutual attraction, not of the overt hate they seem to flaunt at the beginning of the play. Scorn of this magnitude is rare among people who dislike each other from the start, and seems very unlikely in a broken up couple. In addition, both Beatrice and Benedick turned out to be very willing to abandon their smear campaigns as soon as they are convinced the other is aching for them. It is ridiculous that one would abandon one's own principals to bail out a hated enemy in trouble. This makes clear that their attitude toward each other is an act. If this is so, what is the purpose of the act...
... middle of paper ...
...ther, and nearly kills an innocent woman. In a broader perspective, conformity can leave people walking aimlessly down the beaten path with no real direction except conformity, doomed to live yet another meaningless life in a society based on archaic principles.
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.
Prouty, Charles A. Conformity in Much Ado About Nothing. New York: Books for Libraries Press/Yale University Press, 1980.
Rossiter, A.P. "Much Ado About Nothing." William Shakespeare Comedies & Romances. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Entry 1: Act I: Don Pedro and his men return from the war and visit the house of Leonato and his brother, Antonio. This sudden meeting reunites Beatrice with her archrival, Benedick, and it is here that Claudio and Hero fall in love. React: In Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, there are the usual characters that show up in most of Shakespeare’s pieces. For instance the characters Hero and Claudio could easily be compared to Romeo and Juliet. Both Hero and Juliet are innocent, quite, and beautiful young women who fall in love instantly without conversing with the other person.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
1362 words (3.9 pages)
- In the time of William Shakespeare, the words “nothing” and “noting” had little to no vocal distinction; the words sounded nearly alike when spoken aloud. This piece of knowledge reveals the cleverness in the title of Much Ado About Nothing, one of William Shakespeare’s classic comedies. The play is all about making something out of “nothing” due to “noting.” Misconceived noting causes chaos among the main characters, especially when these characters choose not to investigate these observations.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing, Marriage]
1570 words (4.5 pages)
- "This play we must call a comedy, tho' some of the incidents and discourses are more in a tragic strain; and that of the accusation of Hero is too shocking for either tragedy or comedy" (Charles Gildon 1714) How far do you accept this comment about the play's events and language. "Much Ado About Nothing" is a play categorised as a comedy, and written by the dramatist William Shakespeare. A comic play is usually accepted to be a light-hearted play with a happy conclusion. A play classed as a tragedy is serious and sad, usually ending with the death of the main character.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
1418 words (4.1 pages)
- Social Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare presents us with a romp through the realms of truth and illusion. The play is full of characters plotting and deceiving, for both noble and repugnant reasons. It is a study in the importance and necessity of illusion in our everyday lives, and shows how deeply ingrained deception is in our social behaviors. Everybody is involved in some kind of illusion, from the masked celebration to the unveiling of Hero's "cousin." Two of the major conspiracies in the play are the Claudio/Hero plotline and the Benedick/Beatrice story.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
587 words (1.7 pages)
- Exploring Love in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare depicts different kinds of loving relationships - romantic love, family support and loyal friendship - and shows how various characters react to love and marriage. By exploring the effects of this powerful emotion Shakespeare highlights its universal relevance, a relevance that transcends time. The main plot of Much Ado About Nothing is that of the relationship between Claudio and Hero. Their story is a melodramatic saga concerning the realities of relationships based on love at first sight.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
2807 words (8 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing Love Story Shakespeare My first impression of Much Ado About Nothing is that it would be a love story. Although it is categorised as a Shakespearean comedy, I found the many "funny" parts of the play were foggy and required you to read the scene over a few times before you understood them. But then again, I had to read the whole scene over again a few times to understand anything. All of the characters in Much Ado About Nothing seemed to develop a personality of their own from the very first scene. It also helped that I saw the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing before we read the play so I could almost get a picture in my head as t... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
378 words (1.1 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing: A Comedy with Deep Meaning Much Ado About Nothing--the title sounds, to a modern ear, offhand and self-effacing; we might expect the play that follows such a beginning to be a marvelous piece of fluff and not much more. However, the play and the title itself are weightier than they initially seem. Shakespeare used two other such titles--Twelfth Night, or What You Will and As You Like It--both of which send unexpected reverberations of meaning throughout their respective plays, the former with its reference to the Epiphany and the topsy-turvy world of a saturnalian celebration, and the latter with its implications about how the characters (and the audience it... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
1272 words (3.6 pages)
- Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" takes place in Messina, a city-state of Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance was a period in European history believed to have been between AD 1300 and AD 1600 with a feudal society of agricultural economy and church dominated culture. It was during the Renaissance that Europe was transformed into a society dominated by central political institutions with education, arts and music heavily influenced by the Christian religion. In Italy, cities such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice flourished.... [tags: Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing]
772 words (2.2 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice, Portia and Marriage Hero and Claudio represent the Elizabethan norm in marriage. Claudio is the shrewd, hardheaded fortune hunter and Hero is the modest maiden of conduct books and marriage manuals, a docile young woman. It is important to note that Claudio is more concerned with advancement in Don Pedro's army than he is with love. Therefore, Shakespeare illustrates to the reader through the near tragedy of mistaken identity that Claudio must learn that marriage is more than a business arrangement and become worthy of Hero's love and affection.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
525 words (1.5 pages)
- Questioning Marriage in Much Ado About Nothing Much Ado About Nothing raises many important issues concerning the institution of marriage. Perhaps Shakespeare's purpose in writing this play was to question the existing approach to relationships and marriage. Shakespeare reveals the faults of the process through the characters of Hero and Claudio and also Hero's father, Leonato. Shakespeare also may be suggesting an alternative approach to marriage and relationships through the characters of Beatrice and Benedick.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
926 words (2.6 pages)