How Does Shakespeare Introduce And Develop The Characters Of Beatrice And Benedick?

1162 words - 5 pages

Much ado about nothing was written by William Shakespeare in 1595.It is about relationships, love, deceive and hatred. Benedick (one of the main character) enjoys speaking his mind in a witty argument with Hero’s cousin and companion, Beatrice. Beatrice is also like Benedick. She is an Elizabethan feminist who is strong; she speaks her mind and lets everyone (including Benedick) know exactly what she thinks of Benedick. Shakespeare has created another couple who is totally the opposite of Beatrice and Benedick. Claudio and Hero are kind hearted, loving and let others decide their fate; whereas Beatrice and Benedick are fiery and determined. With Beatrice and Benedick, they are tricked into liking each other by ‘overhearing’ other people’s conversations that pertain to the other person. This causes them to fall in love. The wittiness used by Beatrice and Benedick also suggests that there is a deeper meaning behind what they say and that they are deceived by their own foolishness.

In the first scene, Beatrice talks to a messenger and Leonato. Shakespeare makes it instantly seems as if she and Benedick do not to get along, when she calls him "Signor Mountanto", which is very rude and suggests that he has a 'big head'. Even though she refers to Benedick in a negative manner, it is interesting that she mentions him before she mentions anyone else. Shakespeare shows this first sign of interest in a fairly subtle way; yet she obviously cares about him by asking if he has returned from war, this clearly being her first line of thought. In the first scene, before Benedick, Claudio, Don Pedro, Don John enter, Beatrice mentions Benedick many times, again showing that she really does think about him and is curious to know how he is. At the beginning of the play, Beatrice is having an argument with Benedick. ‘I’d rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man swears he loves me’. She uses a metaphor. The connotations of the word ‘bark’ is loud, sharp and she is comparing Benedick to an animal who is weak, lonely and the opposite of Benedick. The quote is very powerful. Also the quote has an immediate language impact. Benedick is intelligent, witty and good at arguing and giving comebacks. She is saying that she doesn't want to get attention from men’s and that their relationship is going to be poor. Beatrice also says ‘Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come in her presence’. She is saying that even good things would turn bad if Benedick would so much as looked at them. The word courtesy has connotations of politeness, and kindness. By talking to each other in a childish and hurtful manner; they are providing us that their relationship would also be childish and argumentative.

In the beginning of the play, Beatrice is presented as a strong minded, determined and independent character. A quote to suggest this, “Not till God make men of some other metal than earth: will it not grieve woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust?” This quote...

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