It seems self-evident that in order for a couple to have a romantic relationship, they need to have a strong understanding of one another. They need to have connections and shared experiences built through past encounters. Claudio and Hero, however, have no past encounter, while Beatrice and Benedick have a previous history.
- Act I Scene 2.
- Initial Situation.
- Scene by Scene?
- Quote from Act 1, Scene 1 Analysis!
Despite never having met her before the start of the play, Claudio has an immediate attraction to Hero. This lack of connection is in large part what allows Claudio to be tricked by Don John later in the play. In contrast to Hero and Claudio, Beatrice and Benedick have a previous history with one another before the opening moments of the play, and though they play the part of not liking each other, it is clear that the seeds for a blossoming romance are already in place.
Though she pretends indifference, Beatrice asks several questions about Benedick and seems generally interested in his current welfare. Not only do Beatrice and Benedick know each other at the start of the play, but there is evidence that at one point they may have even tried to start a romantic relationship. Clearly, unlike Hero and Claudio, Beatrice and Benedick have the past history with one another in order to build a relationship that is based on something other than physical beauty or money.
It is this type of understanding between people that leads to the second ingredient that Shakespeare is demonstrating to be a part of a successful relationship, which is trust. On two occasions during Much Ado About Nothing, Claudio is shown to have no faith in his relationship Hero, accusing both friends and Hero herself of betraying him.
Much Ado About Nothing: The Meaning of True Love and Romantic Couples
Beatrice and Benedick, once they have finally admitted to having feelings for the other person, do have strong level of trust, however, as demonstrated by their staying together when the actions of Claudio threaten to tear them apart. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. The Prince woos for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love; Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues.
Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farwell therefore Hero! With no other evidence other that the word of Don John, Claudio is ready to believe that his friend Don Pedro has betrayed him. Without any emotional connection to Hero, Claudio cannot trust her or anyone who interacts with her on his behalf, and so he is quick to believe the worst.
Again, Claudio makes no attempt to investigate the situation further once he is shown the false scene in the window, and he immediately makes plans to humiliate Hero at their wedding tomorrow. This event is also important because one of the most attractive features of Hero to Claudio, her virtuousness, has in his eyes been spoiled. Without an emotional attachment to Hero, Claudio has no reason to trust her, thus she is easily made into a villain in his eyes.
Later in the scene, when Benedick tells Beatrice he loves her, she asks him to kill Claudio. Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts. Characters Character List.
Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing Summary
She is generous and loving, but, like Benedick, continually mocks other people with elaborately tooled jokes and puns. She wages a war of wits against Benedick and often wins the battles. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry.
Read an in-depth analysis of Beatrice. Benedick is very witty, always making jokes and puns. Benedick challenges Claudio to a duel. The Watch overhear Borachio bragging about what he did to help Don John ruin the wedding.
Act I Scene 1
Leonato tells Claudio that he can make up for his actions by marrying his niece who looks just like Hero. Claudio agrees and is overjoyed when the real Hero is revealed instead. Claudio and Hero are reunited. Beatrice and Benedick are made to admit their love for each other in front of everyone and everybody celebrates a double wedding.
The following activity is a great way to introduce the story of Much Ado about Nothing to a group of students who are getting to know the play and introduces them to the plot. The Story in 10 scenes You can also print the ten lines on this page and ask students to work in pairs to arrange them in the order they take place in the play. Help us by taking a short survey — it will only take a few minutes and will help us make the Shakespeare Learning Zone even better for everyone.
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