The Character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

The Character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

Length: 1638 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

Many would believe this to be a understated summary of the way
Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing because
Beatrice is not just a humorous character but a strong role model for
both ShakespeareÂ’s time and for a modern audience defying social
expectations and being equal to her male counter parts, she is the
heroin of the play and even though speaking “all mirth” which would
probably be expected from a lead Shakespeare role, however she is much
more that that. Beatrice has the most depth to her character in
comparison to other characters than simply humour. Thus the statement
not doing Beatrice justice as she has the most positive influence over
the other characters. To an Elizabethan audience the story line of
Hero and Claudio would be familiar because of the traditional views
held by their characters, and so the audience would have expected Hero
to be the romantic lead of the play. However, Beatrice’s ‘emotional
gravity,’¹ eventually leads the importance of her role to go beyond
that of HeroÂ’s, whilst still maintaining the humorous aspect essential
to her character.

It would seem definite that Shakespeare is making a criticism of the
patriarchal and misogyny that resided in society at that time which is
expressed through Beatrice who defies her social expectations. She is
a strong feminine role model; Shakespeare uses her to challenge sexist
beliefs and the subordination of women. This holds special interest
for feminine critics, alike many of ShakespeareÂ’s works female
characters such as Beatrice have the major parts and speak as many
l...


... middle of paper ...


... mood of Benedict and the idea of him ranting
sulkily. The effect of Beatrice on him is comical in this way because
of his dramatic reaction.

The word choice is also interesting possessing some underlying
meaning. For example, it appears significant of the word ‘endure’ to
be used a number of times. Beatrice states, “I could not endure a
husband” (II.i.26), and Benedick exclaims “I cannot endure my Lady
Tongue” (II.i.257-8). It would seem that these two statements
parallel each other in the sense that the couple are drawn to each
other which is implied by ShakespeareÂ’s choice of words.

¹Marguerite Alexander, Shakespeare and his contemporaries p.69

²Ellen Terry, Four Lectures on Shakespeare 1932 p83-84

³The Arden Edition – Much ado about nothing p30

Vickers p174

*Ibid., pp. 175, 176

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Character Analysis of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare

- Beatrice is, without a doubt, one of the strongest female characters that Shakespeare ever came up with in his time of writing. Shakespeare shows, through Beatrice, how every woman should act in an era where only the men were even able to have control. In this era, or the renaissance time, no woman had free will; they were always told what they could and could not do, as well as, who they were to marry. In the play “Much Ado About Nothing” Beatrice has many qualities but the ones that stand out the most in the play are: her independence, her feistiness, and of course her openness to defy male subjection....   [tags: free will, independence, feistiness]

Better Essays
766 words (2.2 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing play, character analysis]

Better Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Benedick and Beatrice's Love in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice, Portia and Marriage Essays

- 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]

Free Essays
525 words (1.5 pages)

Much Ado About Nothing Essay: Beatrice, Benedick, and Love

- Beatrice, Benedick, and Love in Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing  is set in thirteenth century Italy.  The plot of the play can be categorized as comedy or tragicomedy .    Villainy and scheming combine with humor and sparkling wordplay in Shakespeare's comedy of manners. Claudio is deceived into believing that Hero, is unfaithful. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice have "a kind of merry war" between them, matching wits in repartee.  This paper will attempt to present the fact that Beatrice and Benedick are in love during the entire play despite their witty rivalries.  Their friends' schemes lead each to think that the other is in love, which allows the tr...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Better Essays
892 words (2.5 pages)

Differences between Beatrice and Hero in Much Ado about Nothing Essay

- Differences between Beatrice and Hero in the early scenes of Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ has two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero, who are cousins. Both appear to be completely different in the beginning of the play but, as things progress and their characters develop, there are also some very obvious similarities between them. Hero and Beatrice have a very close relationship; they are best friends. Leonato is Hero’s father but Beatrice has no parents, which gives her greater freedom....   [tags: Much Ado about Nothing Shakespeare]

Better Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Love in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
2807 words (8 pages)

The Characters of Claudio and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- Much Ado About Nothing - The Characters of Claudio and Benedick       Shakespeare's comedy, `Much Ado About Nothing' is a play revolved around the love and friendships of two young couples, integrated with each other through both friendship and love. Love and marriage are the two most prominent ideas in Shakespeare's comedies. The two couples are Benedick and Beatrice, an unpredicted match as they appear to be quite the opposite and are forever arguing in their poetic banter. The other couple is Claudio and Hero, the two who seem madly in love yet Claudio's untrusting and naive side takes power at one stage, in which the couple's relationship seems destined to be doomed....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Better Essays
2245 words (6.4 pages)

The Development of Benedick's Character in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

- The Development of Benedick's Character in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing At the beginning of the play, Benedick appears as almost a comic character, acting as if the most important part of his character is his wit. However, by the end of the play it becomes obvious that he is a clear-thinking character who is able to take action and keep his head in a crisis. The change in Benedick's character is accompanied by the change in his relationship with Beatrice, as they move from 'merry war' and 'skirmish of wit' to become lovers, though Benedick does still protest that he 'love thee (Beatrice) against my will'....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Better Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John

- The Character of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing      William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy in which he uses one of his more peculiar villains. The antagonist in this play is Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro. In this paper I will discuss the role of Don John as well as his motives and the character himself. I will also delve into Shakespeare's use of Don John as the antagonist. I will be comparing Don John to other characters in the play as well as to other villains in Shakespeare's works....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Better Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)