’s Much Ado About Nothing Essay, Research Paper
Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing, combines two very different love stories. The story of Hero and Claudia is a classic tale of love won, lost, and regained. The other story is the unlikely pairing of Beatrice and Benedick, who fight with each other to hide their true feelings. In the play, most of the characters had interesting relationships with each other. For example, Don John and Don Pedro fighting with each other because of their brotherly jealousy, and the close friendship between Benedick and Don Pedro. But the two most obvious relationships are between Claudia and Hero, and Benedick and Beatrice. Claudia and Hero start out the play hating each other, and by the end they can’t get away from each other fast enough. Benedick and Beatrice seem to be fighting when the play starts, but at the end of the play, they are in love. In this paper, I will discuss the similarities and differences between these two relationships. First I will discuss the relationships of the characters by introducing their most important characteristics. The relationship between Benedick and Beatrice will be the first to be examined. Benedick was a smart, good-looking, and funny guy. He was very witty, and always had a response to anyone’s comments. For example, when he was talking to Beatrice, he always had a comment to finish the conversation. He also didn’t like the idea of marriage. Benedick felt that marriage led to the trapping of men. When he heard about Claudio getting married, Benedick thought that Claudio was crazy, because he thought that it was going to change the way that Claudio lived. Benedick was also very stubborn. He never wanted to give into other people’s ideas, and that was why he didn’t want to give into the idea that marriage could be a good thing in a person’s life. Beatrice was a character that was similar to that of Benedick. She was a very independent person, and didn’t want to rely on anyone for support. She was also very smart and enjoyed reading poetry and the finer arts. Like Benedick, she was against the very thought of marriage and being controlled by another person. During one conversation, she even said that she would rather die than be married to anyone. Beatrice was also very emotional and often had mood swings for no apparent reason. She also tended to keep many of her feelings to herself. For example, sometimes she would be angry but wouldn’t reveal it to others. A possible reason that she did this might have been that she wanted to feel strong and look as though she didn’t need anyone. Beatrice could be compared to Katherine in another of Shakespeare’s plays, The Taming of the Shrew. In this play, Kate is a tough and loud woman. She voices her opinions and stands up for herself when she needs to. She doesn’t feel that she needs anyone else to help her along in life. Also, she is a woman who is strong in her views, and confident in her opinions. Another thing that connects Kate to Beatrice is that she kind of gives up on herself after she is married. Both of these women were out-spoken and opinionated before they were married, but became quiet and obedient afterward. The traits and characteristics of Beatrice and Benedick were what brought them together and also what turned them away from each other. One of these characteristics is that Beatrice and Benedick always felt that they had to be independent of each other. Another factor that kept them apart was that they were always arguing with one another. Neither of them could just let the other win an argument. Instead, they tried to act strong, and in doing so, hurt each other. The final thing that kept them apart was that they both thought that marriage was just a stupid institution of which they needed no part. However, they didn’t really realize that if they were against marriage, they really couldn’t have a productive relationship until they revised their views. However, there were characteristics that brought them together. One of these characteristics was that they never got bored with each other. They had so many issues to argue over that they were never tired of presenting their arguments. They both seemed to hate each other with a passion. However, when they exchange insults, they really seem to be enjoying themselves. Also, they shared similar personalities. They were both strong and independent. They each knew that the other could survive without the other. This made them realize that if they wanted to be together, they had to make the other person want them to be there. Finally, Beatrice and Benedick needed each other. Without the other, each would be lonely and somewhat bored.
Where Beatrice and Benedick were bold and outgoing, Claudio and Hero were shy and quiet. Throughout the play, Claudio was a quieter character that was pretty tricky at times. He is immature and tends to believe what others say, and jump to conclusions too soon. However, by the end of the play, he somewhat matures and gets his love back. Claudio decides in the play that he is going to believe the rumors that he hears about Hero being unfaithful to him. He figures that the best thing that he can do about the rumors is to accept them for truth, and break off the engagement on his wedding day. He says to Leonato on his wedding day, “There, Leonato, take her back again. Give now this rotten orange to your friend (Act IV, Scene 1).” In this line, Claudio is throwing Hero back to Leonato as if she were a tainted fruit. Hero’s character is also quiet and reserved. She is a beautiful and beloved daughter of Claudio. She is believed to have been unfaithful to Claudio and feigns death when he scorns her. However, she is reunited with Claudio in the end when he realizes that she was faithful the whole time. The play begins with Claudio and Hero in love with each other and about to get married. However, a scheme to break them up works, and they are torn apart from each other. This scheme involves Don John leading Don Pedro and Claudio to a window in which they see a man and a woman together. The man calls the woman Hero, and that is all the evidence that Claudio needs to believe that Hero has been unfaithful. While all this action is happening with Claudio and Hero, Beatrice and Benedick are being “tricked” into falling in love with each other. Each one has been told that the other is deeply in love with him/her. They each decide that since someone is in love with them, then they should fall in love too. When Beatrice and Benedick finally admit that they are in love, Claudio and Hero are getting a divorce. At this point the relationships are totally opposite. Another difference between the couples is that Benedick and Beatrice are very loud and boisterous while Claudio and Hero are quiet, harmless people that don’t stand out in a crowd. A common characteristic of the characters is that the men tend to lose their tempers while the females play the non-aggressive, subdued role. Claudio loses his temper at his wedding when he “hands” Hero over to Leonato. Benedick loses his temper when he challenges Claudio to a duel. He says, “You are a villain. I jest not; I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare (Act V, Scene 1).” In this line, Benedick is threatening Claudio and gets pretty aggressive with him. The women are more unassertive and subdued. They let the men do most of the talking most of the time. Hero tends to be quieter and whenever Claudio is around, he does most of the talking, and Hero doesn’t get a chance to express her opinions most of the time. Beatrice starts out the play very boisterous, but by the end, she has quieted down some. When Benedick and Beatrice get married, they display their love in public. Benedick kisses her and it seems as if she is going to become the obedient, subdued housewife. In the end, when all is said and done, the play works out like poetic justice. There is a happy ending, and the villain (Don John) gets punished. A common theme in this play is the deception of characters for no apparent reason, except for a little fun. Claudio plans that Benedick should hear a discussion of how Beatrice is completely in love with him, and Beatrice over hears a conversation in which Benedick’s love for her is expressed. Because of this eavesdropping, both of the characters decide to love the other because he or she is in love with them. Also, Claudio is tricked into believing that Hero was unfaithful. This caused him to get rid of her for a while, and for her to feel the persecution of committing a crime, even though she was innocent.It can be concluded that the plays are both different and similar at the same time. The relationships have their similarities, but they never seem to occur at the same time. When Beatrice and Benedick hate each other in the beginning, Hero and Claudio are deeply in love. When Benedick and Beatrice love each other, Hero and Claudio hate each other. Both relationships also have their own surprises and tricks that are played on them, but in the end, both of the relationships work out for a happy ending.