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Benedick In William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

1299 words - 5 pages

Benedick in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

In the first extract, Benedick and Claudio are alone so the focus of
the audience is on them. Shakespeare makes all the characters leave
the scene except for Benedick and Claudio, which shows that whilst
Beatrice and the others are more sociable and keep with the group,
Benedick and Claudio want some time to themselves. This shows that
Benedick does not like large crowds of people and is automatically
portrayed as an introverted character. It is also an ideal time for
Claudio to talk to Benedick about Hero because he thinks about her so
much that the entry of their conversation is about her.

“Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato?” is the
opening line; it suggests that although Benedick might not have
observed Hero closely, Claudio obviously has. Benedick replies with
very sarcastic answers, like, “Why, i’faith, methinks she’s too low
for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a
great praise.” His sarcastic responses imply that he does not think
much about Hero and that he finds the whole affair a joke – something
to make fun out of. Shakespeare shows Benedick’s staunch outlook of
love when he says, “With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my
lord; not with love.” Benedick compares love with negative emotions,
which shows that he finds love just as bad, or even worse than anger,
sickness and hunger. Love is usually associated as a positive emotion,
and so he is depicted as a cynical character that finds other peoples’
points of view as strange; while he is the eccentric one.

Since Claudio asked Benedick for his opinion, Benedick is definitely
senior and Claudio would like to have his approval of Hero, as he
asks, “Is she not a modest young lady?” The audience gets an
impression that Benedick is heartless because Claudio is so madly in
love with Hero, but then they realise otherwise because Benedick wants
someone on his side; for someone to be a bachelor like him. “Is’t come
to this? In faith hath not the world one man but he will wear his cap
with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again?” His
language suggests that he could be angry, but inside he feels upset
that his friend wants to get married and that he feels left out.

In the second extract, Benedick’s monologue suggests that he will
never find the right woman because, “Till all graces be in one woman,
one woman shall not come in my grace.” According to Benedick, his
ideal wife has to be perfect, but no one is perfect so he will never
find a wife. Benedick believes that women are untrustworthy and he
mentions in the previous extract, “I will do myself the right to trust
none. And the fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I will live a
bachelor.” He is still very sarcastic and somewhat childish as...

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