Much Ado About Nothing

A Contemporary View of Benedick and Beatrice 12th Grade

William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing, brimming with metaphors and figurative clowning walks the line of comedy and tragedy. As Shakespeare flexes his exemplary wit which brands his work as so signature and formulaic; he brings probably the most memorable characters in the play; Beatrice and Benedick as well as their own volatile and flippant relationship to life. A modern audience find their relationship partially satisfactory. Shakespeare’s use of structural and linguistic devices enables the audience to believe in the relationship between Benedick and Beatrice. These features, taken in the context created by Shakespeare, further establish their credibility, especially when taken in relation to Claudio and Hero.

A Shakespearean audience would have viewed Beatrice’s actions and behavior as outrageous. This is largely due to her outspoken nature and position within a strongly patriarchal hierarchy. Shakespeare places her alongside other characters in order to emphasize certain characteristics which ultimately make her more suitable for a marriage with Benedick. Beatrice's vulgar mouth and coarse persona when discussing the prospects of marriage initially seemed shocking; “I had rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man...

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