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'.
Throughout the play, Benedick's relationship with Beatrice is an important mark of his character. In the first scene they are unable to converse without entering into one of the skirmishes of wit for which Leonato has said they are known. There is a suggestion from Beatrice that the two have been in a relationship before:
"You always end with a jades trick, I know you of old"
Evidence of this past relationship provides both a reason for the 'merry war' and a suggestion that there may still be some romantic feelings between the two.
However, Benedick's jocular attitude towards women does not stop at Beatrice, even when Claudio asks Benedick, as a friend, for serious advice about Hero, he is unable to take the situation seriously or give a serious answer:
"She's too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great praise"
This shows quite clearly that Benedick's character in the early stages of the play is firmly rooted in his wit. Of course, Benedick's failure to notice Hero at all is a further suggestion that he has feelings for Beatrice, which is supported by his ...
... middle of paper ...
...e, due to the gradual change and development of his character.
The extent to which Benedick is changed is shown by the way his attitudes appear completely changed by the conclusion of the play, as he appears no longer to be a 'tyrant' towards women, and he is no longer reliant on his wit as the main feature of his personality.
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. "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 »
- Watching a play is completely different than watching a movie. When watching a movie there are two options, either watching it at home on the couch with a bag of chips, or going to a movie theatre with a bucket of popcorn. Why do we even waste two hours of our time to sit and watch a movie. Primarily, we do watch movies to waste time. When people get bored, we watch movies to pass the time. Well, before they could make movies, people would go watch a play which is an entirely different experience than going to a movie.... [tags: much ado about nothing, shakespeare]
1132 words (3.2 pages)
- "No Small Parts, Only Small Actors" "There are no small parts, only small actors." Is this statement accurate. Minor characters, by simple definition, are characters who do not play a major role in a work of literature. However, every character serves a purpose. Simply because a character does not have many lines or appear in many scenes does not mean that he does not play a major part in the development of the plot. One such character is Borachio in William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.... [tags: Shakespeare]
991 words (2.8 pages)
- Classical Imagery in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing The romance of history has lured many of the world's greatest authors to search for their subject matter in the pages of time. William Shakespeare serves as a unfailing embodiment of the emotion of days past; yet he also turned to those before him. The comedy Much Ado About Nothing is a poignant love story, riddled with stunning imagery and allusion. An examination of the development of certain characters, the imagery and allusion, diction, and structure illustrate that the author wrote in a style heavily influenced by the classical movement of Ancient Greece and Rome.... [tags: William Shakespeare Much Ado Nothing essays]
3565 words (10.2 pages)
- 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]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Throughout the history of the world, honor has been an important part of life. In literature, as well, honor plays an important role in many plots and the development of almost any character. Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing is no exception. In this comedy about love and marriage, honor is revealed as the primary reason for many of the actions taken by several different characters. When Claudio breaks off his wedding with Hero, he does it because he believes she is not chastised as she claims to be and in being such, she would dishonor him as well as her father if the marriage were to proceed as planned.... [tags: William Shakespeare]
672 words (1.9 pages)
- Many Facets of Love Explored in Much Ado About Nothing 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.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
850 words (2.4 pages)
- Importance of Speech in Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Richard III Speech is often the strongest indicator of personality and motivation in Shakespearean histories and comedies. Each turn of phrase is a small insight into the essence of the character. Stringing together each line from the mouth of the character allows the audience to discover each nuance created by Shakespeare. By connecting the actions to a manner of speech, which mirrors those actions, Shakespeare is able to create more believable and dynamic characters.... [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
2262 words (6.5 pages)
- Lear's Character Development in Shakespeare's King Lear Though King Lear, of Shakespeare's play, King Lear, wrongs both Cordelia and Kent in his harsh treatment against them, the unjust actions of Regan and Goneril against King Lear cause him to be "a man more sinned against than sinning" (3.2.60-61). In order to relieve himself of the problems and work associated with holding his position so he can "unburdened crawl toward death," King Lear, of pre-Christ Britain, divides up his kingdom into three portions, one for each of his daughters (1.1.41).... [tags: King Lear Essays]
1205 words (3.4 pages)
- 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 Â“all mirthÂ” which would probably be expected from a lead Shakespeare role, however she is much more that that.... [tags: Papers]
1638 words (4.7 pages)
- Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Shakespeare derived much of his plot, in the play Much Ado About Nothing, from alternate sources, but his individual language and use of wording is what draws people to his works. His plot in Much Ado About Nothing is fairly simple but elegant. Two sets of lovers fall in love. They are Claudio and Hero and Benedict and Beatrice. The miscreant, Don John, schemes to break up the marriage of Claudio and Hero, but he eventually fails. Shakespeare adopted, or stole these plots from a set of three books.... [tags: Papers]
1180 words (3.4 pages)
- Iago’s Manipulation in Act One of Shakespeare's Othello
- The Role of Reputation in Shakespeare's Othello
- Love and Hate Expressed by Characters in William Shakespeare's Othello
- Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Technology and Morals in Isben's An Enemy of the People and Freud's Civilization and its Discontent
- Values and Technology in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and Beckett's Waiting for Godot