Explore and compare the romantic relationships in the play; Beatrice
and Benedick, Claudio and Hero
The theme of love is the fundamental premise in this play. Shakespeare
has shrewdly created two relationships intertwining and unfolding
throughout the play that contrast with each other dramatically and
comically. The story of Beatrice and Benedick takes centre stage in
the play and because of there witty and extroverted personalities we
immediately warm towards them. Hero and Claudio however are more
in nature making their relationship more acute and serious. Both
relationships are so diverse they are easy to compare with each other.
The relationship between Claudio and Hero comes across as being rather
anomalous and complex.
The idea of love at first sight was very popular when Shakespeare was
writing. Shakespeare uses this theme in other plays he has written.
Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love at once, just like the apparent
Claudio and Hero in Much ado about nothing. Talk of Claudio’s love for
Hero begins straight away in Act one Scene one.
Claudio tells Benedick of his love enquiring metaphorically ‘Can the
world buy such a jewel?’ of which Benedick replies ‘yea and a case to
put it into.’ We can see from this that Claudio is a romantic. He is
an idealistic lover who up until this point was apparently struck dumb
by Hero’s sheer beauty. Claudio has apparently fallen in love with
Hero after a mere twenty minutes in her presence. This in itself makes
us doubt the future of the couple. After all if Claudio can make an
announcement that big, in such a short space of time it shows that he
is quick to interpret and judge. Claudio hasn’t even spoken to Hero
but a week later they’re getting married.
This conversation between Claudio and Benedick also shows us how much
the two men comically differ. Benedicks character has two main
sections to it. His persistent witty courtier and the tedious tactic
of disparagement towards love. He constantly refers to love, his
dislike of women and the fact that he will remain a bachelor for the
rest of his life.
Claudio on the other hand likes the idea of falling in love and
constantly talks and thinks about Claudio. I find it ironic that
Claudio is the one who relentlessly talks of his love of Hero, but
then later disregards her without question, and it is Benedick who has
sworn himself away from love and women who later declares his deep
love for Beatrice.
Beatrice and Benedick are indubitably the most interesting and well
liked characters in the play. A bond is created between the reader and
Beatrice and Benedick because of there realistic and pragmatic nature.
The reader can relate to these two characters better than anyone else
in the play.
Beatrice comes across as being witty, intelligent,...