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.
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. Likewise, Claudio and Romeo decide to marry these women within twenty-four hours. Because of these characters’ lack of unique and interesting qualities, I am intrigued by Beatrice.
Beatrice is by far the best character Shakespeare created; because of how effortlessly she lightens the mood. Beatrice is gifted with wit, humor, and strength uncommon in Shakespeare’s time. One can tell Beatrice’s drollness is at its best when speaking about or to Benedick. When Benedick greets her as “Lady Disdain” (I.i.109), she snaps, “Is it possible disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence” (I.i.110-113). Instead of taking offense, she welcomes the name and essentially tells Benedick that she acts contemptuous only because she’s talking to him. She adds that she’s agreeable with everyone, with him as an exception. Benedick retorts that she’s lucky that she doesn’t love him like all the other women he knows, because he loves no one especially not her. Beatrice responds, “A dear happiness to women, they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of you humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me” (I.i.118-122). In other words, she says it’s good you can’t love because women would only be troubled by your infatuation, and as for myself I’d rather be listening to my dog bark than listen to you or any man confess his love to me.
Shakespeare couldn’t have picked a better character to add to his play. Beatrice, with her quick wit and humor, is easily the spotlight stealer in Much Ado about Nothing. She possesses many great qualities that the other characters lack and ultimately gets the story going and captures the audience’s attention.
Entry 2: Act II:
In celebration of the soldiers return, Leonato hosts a masked dance where Don Pedro woes Hero for Claudio. Don John tries tells Claudio his brother is wooing Hero for himself, but Don Pedro clarifies the matter and tells Claudio that he has kept his promise. The others decide amongst themselves that during the week that Hero and Claudio wait to be wed, they shall play a game in order to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love.
Balthasar’s song in scene iii of Act II, is precluded by a subtle yet important line from himself....