An Exploration Of The Ways In Which Shakespeare Presents The Developing Relationship Between Beatrice And Benedick.

Essay by Fidget23University, Bachelor'sB+, February 2006

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In "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare, Beatrice and Benedick - two main characters with strong opposite opinions of the other sex - are involved in a plot where other characters in the play attempt to trick them into falling in love with each other. The unlikely couple are thought to perhaps compliment each other and make a good match, as they engage in a continuous "merry war" throughout the play and have many subjects on which they can argue about due to their opposing opinions. In the very first scene Leonato, who is Beatrice's uncle (and also the Governor of Messina), tells a messenger that 'there is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her...a skirmish of wit between them'.

Beatrice is known for her sharp wit, and when she reluctantly greets Benedick as he returns from battle, she declares that she "had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me".

She manages to ridicule love in the language that she uses as she chooses to use rather unromantic animals in an unromantic setting to portray just how much she hates the idea of love. The fact that she doesn't feel a need to fall in love shows that she in an independent woman, which was unusual in the Elizabethan times. It could also be interpreted that she does not want to get close to anyone and make herself vulnerable to a broken heart. However, at this stage of the play (the first scene), the audience can conclude that she is cynical about love and the conversation she has with Benedick shows how witty, loud, outspoken and clever she is.

Benedick comes across as very arrogant and a bit of a ladies' man as he describes himself as...