This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Viola And Beatrice In Twelfth Night And Much Ado About Nothing

981 words - 4 pages

 
    Viola and Beatrice both take on men's roles, Viola that of a manservant and Beatrice that of the perpetual bachelor and the clown: "I was born to speak all mirth and no matter," she says to Don Pedro [II.i.343-4]. They appear to be actors and manipulators, much more so than their female predecessors, who are mostly reactive and manipulated, such as Hermia, Helena, Titania, and Gertrude. None of these women seemed in charge of her own destiny, but tricked by the schemes of men and later scorned or humiliated as a result of male machinations. Viola and Beatrice, although they both seem fiercely independent and comfortable in a man's world, reveal themselves to have only the trappings of manhood, and not its full capacity for action. They are undone by unrequited love, made desperately unhappy by their inability to woo the man of their choosing. In the end, it is only coincidence and the plotting of other characters that bring the true nature of their affections into the open and thus force the plays to their respective matrimonial conclusions.

 

Beatrice is deceived by Hero and the others, but the nature of deception is not on a par with the scheming of Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream or Claudius in Hamlet. The supposedly false premise on which Don Pedro's plot against Beatrice is based -- Benedick's passionate love for her -- is later uncovered as truth, and Beatrice is not made to look like a fool for her misapprehensions in the same way that, for example, Titania was. Viola is disconcerted at being confused with Sebastian in Twelfth Night's final acts, but this confusion is not one plotted by men. She and Beatrice remain two of Shakespeare's few undeceived women.

 

Beatrice lives the jocular life of a bachelor man, but will not take on the "man's office" of killing Claudio. In the same way, Viola wishes to retain the freedom and anonymity that life as a man grants her, but balks when it comes to drawing swords. Both attempt rely on the subtler feminine tools at their disposal instead of steel, but in doing so confine themselves to the frailer role of woman. Beatrice maneuvers Benedick into promising to right Hero, and Viola attempts to talk her way out of a swordfight.

 

Viola complains of women's frailty [II.ii.32-3] with respect to Olivia, but her own weakness also prevents her from taking direct action to undo the love triangle in which she has become a corner. She concludes the scene with, "O time! thou must untangle this, not I; It is too hard a knot for me to untie!" [41-2] Beatrice and Viola both have a hard time untying the knots they have made, although they are not the victims of manipulation in the same manner that Shakespeare's other women have heretofore been. Viola does not wait for anyone to rescue her at the shipyard, but hatches her own scheme to go underground into the...

Find Another Essay On Viola and Beatrice in Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing

Deception and Its Dramatic Effects in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night

2131 words - 9 pages Deception and Its Dramatic Effects in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night Shakespeare uses deception and trickery in both "Twelfth Night" and "Much Ado" to provide humour and dramatic irony for the audience. The deception also furthers the plot or sub-plot. The dramatic effects of this trickery are the irony, anticipation and empathy with the characters. In the scene from "Much Ado", deception

Comparison of Shakespeare's comedies: "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Twelfth Night", and "Much Ado About Nothing."

902 words - 4 pages Orisino during the whole comedy. In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick and Beatrice are both strongly against relationships and getting married. However, the comedy wouldn't be a comedy without fickleness about love. They quickly fall in love with each other and get married.Another common theme among Shakespeare's comedies is deception. In Twelfth Night, almost every main character used deceit. Viola dressed as Cesario as fooled everyone. She even

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

The Portrayal of Benedick and Beatrice in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

1095 words - 4 pages The Portrayal of Benedick and Beatrice in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing At the beginning of William Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" he portrays Beatrice and Benedick as two argumentative young people. However he also portrays them as being attracted to each other, this becomes clear because the first thing Beatrice says in the play is " I pray you, is Signor Mountanto return'd from the wars or

Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

1628 words - 7 pages Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare The two characters, Hero and Beatrice, go hand in hand, although each has many differences. The reason the characters are so different, at times, is Shakespeare's way of emphasising each character. Hero would not seem as quiet if Beatrice wasn't so loud, and Beatrice wouldn't seem so overly confident if Hero didn't act so shy. The two, during the play

Shakespeare's Presentation of Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

2313 words - 9 pages Shakespeare's Presentation of Hero and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing Hero and Beatrice are the two main female characters in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and they tell us a lot about how Shakespeare saw women in the context of the sixteenth century upper classes. In looking at the presentation of the characters it is important to examine their entrance into the play and what first impressions the

Gender Sterotypes defined by Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

673 words - 3 pages have never happened. In addition, by creating characters who challenged traditional sex roles, William Shakespeare created a healthy social controversy, which would not be addressed for another three hundred years. The author of the play could be described as an early feminist despite being a product of a misogynistic time because he illustrated a woman who was as outspoken and capable as a man. In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick and Beatrice

Shakespeare's presentation of the gulling of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing"

1212 words - 5 pages declares that "it must be requited", his tone implies that this is just as much a favour to Beatrice as to himself, and is merely trying to save her from the way "she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses", as Claudio disclosed.The women's scene is contrasting, as it is written in blank verse, which is far more poetic, and suggests a richness and value which symbolises the femininity of the characters. The imagery is far

Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice Potrayal

1218 words - 5 pages Beatrice is an extremely crucial character in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. She is one of the reasons that many plans and schemes fall into place to provide us with the outcome that the play finally reaches. Shakespeare depicts Beatrice as a very strong character who knows what she wants and how she wants to achieve it. Her characteristics of sharp wit and her ability to be acutely opinionated allow her to be a notable contrast from the other women

The Character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

2480 words - 10 pages The Character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing Many would believe this to be a understated summary of the way Shakespeare presents her character in Much Ado About Nothing because Beatrice is not just a humorous character but a strong role model for both ShakespeareÂ’s time and for a modern audience defying social expectations and being equal to her male counter parts, she is the heroin of the play and even though

First Exchange between Beatrice and Benedick being Greeted with Delight in the Theatre in Much Ado about Nothing

1107 words - 4 pages The first exchange between Beatrice and Benedick is always greeted with delight in the theatre? Explain why this is so. Act one scene one of Much Ado About Nothing is always greeted with delight in the theatre for many reasons. It begins when Don Pedro and company enter a "golden world" in Messina where the women are already located. In this situation, people fail to take things seriously, causing the war of swords to soon turn into a war of

Similar Essays

Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice And Benedick

618 words - 2 pages In the comedy Much Ado about Nothing, Shakespeare illustrates Beatrice and Benedick's change of character lead them to love. To pick which couple's relationship was the most successful would be quite simple. I felt that both were doomed at the beginning. Whether its because the relationship is based on appearance and impressions rather than a true love and friendship or based upon extreme openness and stubborn mindedness which you see neither is

Much Ado About Nothing Benedick And Beatrice

512 words - 2 pages H/W 27/09/14How are Beatrice and Benedick presented to the audience in 'Much Ado About Nothing'Benedick and Beatrice have close connections in the play, Benedick is portrayed to be a staunch bachelor, whereas Beatrice a combative character, also ironically, due to this being set in the Renaissance era, outspoken. Benedick is seen as very misogynistic.Benedick is portrayed as a misogynistic character to the audience; this is presented on multiple

Differences Between Beatrice And Hero In Much Ado About Nothing

1199 words - 5 pages Differences between Beatrice and Hero in the early scenes of Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ has two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero, who are cousins. Both appear to be completely different in the beginning of the play but, as things progress and their characters develop, there are also some very obvious similarities between them. Hero and Beatrice have a very close

Beatrice And Hero In Much Ado About Nothing

1637 words - 7 pages Beatrice and Hero in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice is a young, attractive woman, who lives to be an unconventional member of her community. She is technically a free woman as her father died when she was younger and she has no one to say to her no, or that’s enough, or in general tell her what to do. She lives her life as she wishes and is known as Lady Disdain by one of her fellow characters