Relationships in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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My opinion of Much Ado About Nothing is that it is a love story even though it is supposedly a comedy. I thought that all the "funny" bits of the play were hidden and hard to understand and the play seems to centralise greatly on relationships. There are two main relationships in the play, that of Benedick and Beatrice and that of Claudio and Hero. Which of these couple’s relationships is more interesting?
Throughout the play Beatrice is shown to be unhappy with the way women are treated in this time period. She shows her unhappiness of the treatment of women by rebelling to the normal traits of women, such as: being strong willed and strong minded (which she shows by insulting people or more specifically, men) “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me,” she says this because a crow symbolises death this means that she would rather that her dog would tempt death than fall in love. Also Beatrice has a very sharp wit unlike other ladies of the time and she doesn’t hesitate to use it on Benedick “Well, you are a rare parrot teacher.” Beatrice, estrange to all the other women of that time, does not like the idea of marriage. Benedick also shows all these traits of being strong minded, strong willed, having a sharp wit “what, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?” By referring to Beatrice as Lady Disdain, He is saying that she thinks she is above everyone else. Benedick also dislikes the idea of marriage and says that “truly [he] love none” in the play he is saying this to confirm to Beatrice that lots of ladies have loved him but he does not love any of them.
Because Benedick and Beatrice both share most of their more weird traits (especially for that time period) it makes their relationship much more interesting than Hero and Claudio’s, which is relatively normal of a couple from that time period. In the play Hero represents the formal courtship traditions from the time. When marriage is talked about in the play she tends to not have an opinion on it even if it is her own marriage. At the start of the play she is apparently in love with Claudio but, Leonato has heard that Don Pedro means to ask Hero’s hand in marriage and tells

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"Relationships in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare." 25 Jun 2018
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her that “if the prince do solicit [her] in that kind,” she knows her answer and she should accept Don Pedro’s offer of marriage and at this she makes no complaint, which shows us as the audience that she is a submissive and quiet person and will follow rules and her father’s wishes to the letter and obey. When Hero is accused of adultery by Claudio it is all too much for the loyal and abiding girl so she faints from it all because it just overwhelms her which does the audience that her character is not strong willed like Beatrice’s, if it had of been Beatrice being accused I have no doubt that she would have contested the statement vehemently.

Claudio tends to be very immature and childish throughout the whole play and in my opinion is that this is one of the main contributors towards us finding Benedick and Beatrice’s relationship much more interesting. This is because we view him as childish and we don’t take him seriously because he’s not taking himself seriously, for example he gets married with a girl he has only briefly met. He is impulsive, arrogant and is willing to “fall in love” at the drop of a hat (with Hero). His immaturity shows when he believes Don John’s concocted lie about “the lady [being] unfaithful,” and her being with another man in her bedroom, after hearing this from one person he decides that it must be true and he announces to everyone at their wedding that Hero is a whore. He shows even more immaturity by being really sad and regretful when Hero has died and he says that he’ll “never look so gently on love again”. Pretty soon after he has said that Hero makes an entrance and instead of apologising for how he “slandered” her to death he just says oh “another Hero” and then he is back to his cheeky old self teasing Benedick again.

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