The first exchange between Beatrice and Benedick is always greeted with delight in the theatre? Explain why this is so.
Act one scene one of Much Ado About Nothing is always greeted with delight in the theatre for many reasons. It begins when Don Pedro and company enter a "golden world" in Messina where the women are already located. In this situation, people fail to take things seriously, causing the war of swords to soon turn into a war of words. Benedick and Beatrice are the main examples of male/female rivalry that converts into belligerent wordplay. The scene is greeted with delight because it is the first encounter between Beatrice and Benedick and Leonato has already explained the situation between them, stimulating the audience with the want to know more about the relationship between them. ?There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her: they never meet but there?s a skirmish of wit between them.? Leonato explains the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick to the messenger. We also already know what Beatrice thinks of Benedict from her first line in the play whereupon she asks ?I pray you is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?? Here she makes a joke about Benedick?s arrogance as Signior Mountanto can be translated as Signior Stuck up. However there may be more to this than meets the eye, it is obvious that she cares about him otherwise she would not have asked but the covers this up with a snide comment bout the ego of Benedick. Here the audience has already established that both Beatrice?s verbal wit and dexterity and her apparent disdain for Benedick and what might be seen as her attempt to mask her true feelings and this is greeted with delight in the theatre.
The clash of wit between Beatrice and Benedick is exchange of insults that represent the modern battle of the sexes. They repeatedly put one another down because of each other's sex, and the advantages and disadvantages they each possess because of it. This relationship prevails throughout the play.
Their first battle begins when Benedick tries to make a joke about Hero and Leonato but no one listens. Beatrice picks up on this by trying to put down Benedick ?I wonder that you will still be talking Signor Benedick, nobody marks you?. This is ironic as she is obviously listening intently to what he has to say. It is a seemingly unprovoked attack on Benedick, however everyone listens to Beatrice and Benedick as they begin a witty exchange of insults as though they expect it. Benedick retorts, ?What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?? sparking a clash of wit and intelligence.
Beatrice replies ?Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signor Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence. Here Beatrice retorts with great aptitude and wit. She uses language and alliteration cleverly to make her point. Each takes the others words and returns them distorted or askew. This...