The Presentation Of The Relationship Between Beatrice And Benedick In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

2971 words - 12 pages

The Presentation of the Relationship Between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing

Beatrice is the niece of Leonato, a wealthy governor of Messina. She
is feisty, cynical, sharp and witty. Benedick has recently returned
from fighting in the wars. He is also witty, and like Beatrice is
always making jokes and puns. They both continue a ‘merry war’ against
each other, in which Beatrice often wins the battles. ‘They never met
but there’s a skirmish of wit between them’, as Leonato says. They
both appear content never to marry and swear never to fall in love.
Beatrice then describes their last fight, when ‘four of his five wits
went halting off’, and she continues teasingly to mock Benedick. The
similarities in Beatrice’s and Benedick’s personalities and opinions
are sure to bring them together from the beginning. They both rebel
against the social ‘rules’ followed by most of the other characters
when it comes to their opinions about love and marriage. Ironically,
the effort they put into fighting creates the opportunity for them to
become closer.

One theme in the play is the taming of wild animals, which is the
imagery that appears throughout the play. In the scene where Claudio
and Don Pedro tease Benedick about his hatred of marriage, he is
compared to a wild animal. Don Pedro states, ‘in time the savage bull
doth bear the yoke’. This could mean Benedick will be tamed and, in
time, will fall in love. Benedick mocks this statement and claims he
will never give himself to any woman.

In the plot involving Beatrice and Benedick, the symbol of a tamed
animal symbolizes the social calming that must happen for both
characters to be ready to fall in love and marry. Beatrice’s promise
to submit to Benedick’s love by, ‘taming my wild heart to thy loving
hand’, gives the audience imagery of a wild hawk being tamed and
suggests that Benedick is to become Beatrice’s master. This could also
be suggested in the way Benedick uses ‘thou’ to address Beatrice and
Beatrice uses ‘You’ to address Benedick. Shakespeare may have used
this technique to show Beatrice has less status than Benedick. It
could also mean that she is being more reserved and cautious towards

The love story between Beatrice and Benedick begins from the love
between Claudio and Hero. Their relationship also depends upon and
compliments Claudio and Hero’s relationship. These relationships are
contrasted with each other. This appears significant because they link
together to create an image of understanding and harmony. Beatrice and
Benedick previously know each other and continue a ‘merry war’ that
started when they first met. When they eventually fall in love it
shows their maturity that they can show their feelings. In contrast to
the young lovers Claudio and Hero, they are older and more...

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