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The Deception Of Benedick In Act 2 Scene 3 Of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

2152 words - 9 pages

The Deception of Benedick in Act 2 Scene 3 of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

Deception plays a fundamental role in Much Ado About Nothing because
it is one of the elements of laughter in it. It normally originates
from Don Jon the bastard brother of Don Pedro, who wants to be the
Prince causing havoc to Don Pedro and his friends. However this
deception doesn't originate from Don Jon's malevolence, but from Don
Pedro, Claudio and Leonato, as they try and deceive Beatrice and
Benedick that the other is madly in love with them. Don Pedro came up
with the plan at the masked ball" I will in the interim undertake one
of Hercules labour which is to bring Signor Benefice and the lady
Beatrice into a mountain of affection", to amuse himself until his
friends Hero's and Claudio's marriage begins. However this deception
will not be an easy task as the two seem to loathe each other at the
beginning of the play. Leonato describes that they have a "merry war",
using an oxymoron as they argue constantly but enjoy it, especially
when they have a "Skirmish of wit".

The plot is hatched in the gardens, to lure Benedick to hearing their
false private conversion. This leaves him unexpected to seeing their
errors or enjoyment later in the play, making it easier to draw him
in. As it is set in the garden it is fundamental the audience see
Benedick as well as the others. This will enable the audience to see
the reaction of Benedick as he hears Leonato, Don Pedro and Claudio
conversion, if he is in full view of the audience at all times.

In Benedick's opening soliloquy, he starts talking about the idiocy of
men, who have fallen in love, stating about Claudio and his
disappointment in him. Benedick thinks the antithesis will happen to
him but ironically he admits to being in love by the end of the scene.
He complains that Claudio has changed, 'I would have known when there
was no music with him but the drum and the fife, and now had he rather
hear the tabor and the pipe', implying, he is becoming more feminine
and insinuating that Claudio has changed to listening to elegant music
rather than the sound of war (drum and the fife). Benedick obviously
disprove of Claudio falling in love with Hero. He continues by
implicating the changes of Claudio, causing him to wonders if it will
ever happen to him, 'May I be so converted and see with these eyes'
(rhetorical question).Benedick then refers to his ideal woman setting
his standards too high that no woman could match it, "wise mild, and
fair". This is ironic as he refers mostly to Beatrice except she isn't
mild. However he probably wants a woman who isn't mild as he enjoys
his "Skirmish of wit" with Beatrice. After setting the standard too
high he ends with a mild joke, 'and her hair shall be the colour it
pleases God', implying the ridiculousness...

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