Benedick and Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” Essay
Benedick and Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing”
One of the most important aspects in “Much Ado About Nothing” is the story of love. It is often the basis for what transpires throughout the play and can most easily be seen through the relationships between Hero and Claudio, and Benedick and Beatrice. During the play the reader learns a lot about these couples as well as how they possess some of the same relationship traits whilst still seeing the obvious disparities between them.
Benedick and Beatrice represent a “love/hate” relationship. They share many things in common and both are cynical of love and marriage. They are witty intellectual and not at all shy, which leads to many wars of words between them. In the beginning of the novel, the hate between this eventual couple is evident. Beatrice says to Benedict, “I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor / Benedict. Nobody marks you”. Benedict comes back with, “What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet / living?”. Although Beatrice and Benedict may have no idea; the fact that they love each other must be evident to the rest of the characters. Otherwise, their friends and family would not have tricked them into admitting their love.
Claudio and Hero represent a more romantic relationship. Claudio finds himself in love with Hero upon coming back from battle and he is not ashamed to admit his love for her. “I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife”. This leads to Don Pedro assisting in Claudio’s proposal and gaining Leonato’s acceptance. Claudio and Hero’s love is mostly based on looks, since they did not know one another very well before Hero accepts Don Pedro’s proposal to marry Claudio. The fact that they don’t know each other means that there is little trust between them and this is exploited when Hero is accused of being unfaithful. Claudio is also extremely gullible and jealous and that is why he shames Hero at their first wedding.
Although there are many differences between the two couples there are also some similarities. Both couples had to deal with obstacles that they would not have overcome without the help of others. Beatrice and Benedict would still be arguing if their friends did not trick them into thinking that they were in love with each other. They would not have realized that their constant bickering with each other translated into loving emotions. Claudio and Hero’s relationship is broken when Hero is accused of being unfaithful but with the help of Dogberry and Verges, it is revealed that the accusations are not true. This allows Claudio to clear Hero’s name and marry her in the end. An obvious similarity between the relationships is that they both accomplish love.