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Essay on The Transformation of Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing

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The Transformation of Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing

In "Much Ado About Nothing" Shakespeare manages to transform Benedict
from a bachelor to being in love with Beatrice. Shakespeare does
extremely well to make this change of character seem believable as it
such a big one. Shakespeare does this by using key scenes to gradually
reveal the true relationship between the two. This transformation is
especially interesting as at the beginning of the play he argues with
Beatrice and declares he will always be a bachelor.

In Act I Scene I when the visitors arrive in Messina, Benedict appears
to be an arrogant, patronising womaniser. In this scene Benedict has a
merry war with Beatrice and from lines like "In our last conflict four
of his five wits went halting off" and "You always end with a jade's
trick, I know you of old" from Beatrice it seems like the two have
previously met and there is some history between them. In this war of
words we see the arrogance of Benedict when he says to Beatrice "I am
Lord of all ladies, only you excepted". From this opening scene we can
see Benedict's character and it is obvious he is not scared to speak
his mind or give an honest opinion, no matter how harsh it may be. An
example of this is when Claudio asks Benedict if he finds Hero
attractive and Benedict replies ?I can see yet without spectacles, and
I see no such matter?. We also see from this merry war that Benedict
enjoys entertaining his friend and one possibility could be that he
doesn?t change as the play goes on, maybe he loved Beatrice the whole
time and he had been hiding it behind his humour.

When Benedict poses as so...


... middle of paper ...


...t.

In Act V Scene IV, Benedict?s transformation is complete. He says that
to Leonarto ?Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. And I do
with an eye requite her?. Benedict does seem to return to his true
self, however his love cannot be hidden when Claudio and Don Pedro
arrive. Even when Benedict proposes to Beatrice he says he takes her
in ?pity?, this shows that even though he is no longer a bachelor, he
is still as patronising as he was at the beginning of the play and he
has not lost any of his wit. Beatrice continues this merry war by
saying ?I yield upon great persuasion?#?. In Benedict?s final
soliloquy he talks about marriage. ?I will think nothing to anyone
that the world can say against it?. This shows that Benedick has
finally accepted marriage and his love for Beatrice. He is no longer a
bachelor.


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