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Analysis Of Much Ado About Nothing

954 words - 4 pages

A Change of Heart One would describe love as an intense affection, which may result in a friendship or personal tie. It is an emotion that no one can honestly describe until it is actually experienced. Even though Benedick is a virgin to love, he disagrees with the concept of marriage, in which two people take commitment to each other by sharing a serious relationship. Using two different soliloquies, Shakespeare portrays Benedick's attitude about love before and after the conversation among Claudio, Don Pedro and Leonato. In Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare uses repetition and diction to show how Benedick's feelings toward love change from dislike to desire.Benedick's first monologue is based on repeated words and phrases. His soliloquy indicates he has extremely high expectations for his ideal woman. He states repeatedly, "yet I am well," (26) to convince himself that although one woman may be fair, wise, or virtuous, she only holds one special trait. By reiterating that phrase, he is constantly telling himself that women will never be a part of his life. Repeating the statement conveys he is determined to preserve his position against women. A single trait will not strike him and cause him to fall in love. The ideal woman for Benedick is represented as someone who must be rich, "that's certain," (29) fair, or he will "never look on her," (30) and wise, or he will "none." (29) After stating each characteristic, Benedick uses similar phrases, emphasizing his strict guidelines for the perfect woman. He presents an image of inflexibility and a fear of falling in love with a woman who does not meet his requirements. Although he may not realize it, Benedick's rigidity causes him to overlook women who could actually be his perfect match. Shakespeare's choice of words illustrates that Benedick bases love on the experiences of others. This idea is expressed by Benedick when he uses Claudio as an example of how love has turned a man into a fool. Before Claudio falls in love with Hero, the only music he carries is the "drum and the fife." (13) Since these two instruments are used during war, the association symbolizes Claudio's strength and bravery as a soldier. Now that he is in love, he would rather hear soothing instruments such as the "tabor and the pipe." (14) Another perception on the effects of love is how Claudio used to talk "plain and to the purpose," (18) but now speaks with "orthography." (19) Unlike a soldier, who converses with force and honesty, Claudio communicates with fanciful language, using flowery and delicate words. Therefore, his change in speech exemplifies he is in love. The result of Claudio's experience with love continues to persuade Benedick that falling in love will transform him into an "oyster." (23) A person in love tends to become gentle, dreamy, and...

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