In this extract especially Shakespeare makes their relationship seem like they hate each other but actually deep down they still have feelings for each other but because their last relationship ended badly, they have hidden the remaining feelings they have for each other. Instead, they have an argumentative relationship and both characters insult one another constantly putting each other down. I think that Shakespeare does this (at the beginning of the play) to give us this effect that they completely hate each other and haven’t had a romantic history to sort of blind us and when he introduces (later on in the play) that actually they once loved each other and are actually just hiding their feelings, it would actually just surprise the readers/ audience.
Even though Shakespeare wants us to believe that they had no history together, he does drop some hints. For example, when Beatrice says, “I know you of old” it gives the readers/ audience a sense that they must have had some history, but Shakespeare does not actually build on what Beatrice has said, he just leaves it for the readers/ audience to figure out for themselves.
As the play, goes on both character still fight with one another but as love gets the better of them, they begin to reveal the truth: that they have very deep feelings for each other.
The opening of the play shows how stubborn both Beatrice and Benedict can be. The two of them constantly trade insults and Benedick calls her “Lady disdain” meaning someone who looks down on someone because they think they are better than that person.
Beatrice’s uncle Leonato calls their trading insults a “merry war” this shows that there trading of insults has been going on for a while but is quite silly and it is funny to see them fight. Their views on marriage are both the same, they both agree on not getting married. Benedick, when he hears that Claudio is in love with Hero says, “I will die a bachelor” which means he would rather die than be married.
When Leonato says to Beatrice “I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband” meaning I hope to see you married on day, she replies, “no uncle, I’ll none” which means she will probably not get married.
Overall, I think that both Beatrice and Benedict are quite stubborn and constantly ignore their intense feeling for each other. All they needed was a little nudge to finally realize the truth and now they are happily in love.