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The Violence Of Language In Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

1316 words - 5 pages

“Language is frequently used to stir up & manipulate emotions.” - Mary Hamer. The words that people say can appear brutal or detrimental. These violent words take up many forms such as lying, insulting, etc. Along with its’ comedic formula, William Shakespeare's, Much Ado About Nothing is enhanced with humorous mockery and intertwined dialogues. In the play, the soldiers have just returned from a successful war. Love is traveling through the village; however the “language of war” appears rooted in the language. Numerous times do the characters joke around in cruel dialects. The mockery, however, is not considered to be as harsh due to the presence of comedy within the play. William Shakespeare’s intricate use of language in his play, Much Ado About Nothing, allows immense aggressive language to thrive in the characters yet is able to use this to alleviate the violence.
Set in the sixteenth century, Much Ado About Nothing is revolved around the thought of love and marriage. Primarily, this is prevalent in the two main characters, Beatrice and Benedick. They have once been courted which suggests more maturity than the majority of couples in Shakespeare’s various plays. In the duration of the play, the violent language between Benedick and Beatrice is most evident through their ridicule. Both characters always speak critically regardless of whether they are talking to each other or out loud about one another. This is highlighted when Beatrice exclaims, “What should I do with him—dress him in my apparel / and make him my waiting gentlewoman? He that hath a / beard is more than / a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a/ man; and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a/ man, I am not for him.” (II.i.28). Early on in the play, Beatrice refuses to admit love for Benedict and claims she does not need marriage. She notes about his beard in order to show how Benedict or anyone other man is not perfect enough for her. Beatrice indicates that a man with no beard is too youthful but a man with a beard is not youthful enough. Similarly, Benedict is pot rayed with violent language when he aggressively states, “The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible / Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set / them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted, / and in such great letters as they write 'Here is / good horse to hire,' let them signify under my sign / 'Here you may see Benedick the married man.” (I.i.262). He foolishly says how that if he were to marry, he would destroy his pride. At this point in the play, he would rather live his life independently and sees no value in marriage. He knows that all of his friends want him to marry Beatrice but he continues to neglect her in all ways possible. Though, Beatrice and Benedick do not truly intend to be hurtful. “One could conclude that the bitterness, the cleverness, and the sarcasm between these two are not used to really hurt themselves, but just...

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