Beatrice In Much Ado About Nothing

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Abstract: This paper deals with the character analysis of Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. The story is set in Messina. This is the story of culmination of a chaste woman, Hero. Though Beatrice is supposed to be a supporting character in the play, she however steals the show. Her intelligence combined with her softness makes her the most awesome character of the play. She sees the inappropriateness of the world and instead of being a silent observer, she chooses to raise her voice against it, which is a sure sign of wisdom.
Introduction: The character of Beatrice in the play Much Ado About Nothing is one of the strongest female characters of Shakespeare. In the play, Beatrice is the niece of Leanato, the Governor of Messina and very close
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The contrast between the witty and sharp Beatrice and the polite and quiet Hero is highly noticeable throughout the play’ as it makes the character of Beatrice appear more prominent.
The play is thought to have been written between 1598 and 1599 as Shakespeare was approaching the mid of his career. It was the time when renaissance touched England. Though the period witnessed tremendous growth in science and learning but it was a male dominated society. Women had very little rights. Despite the fact that England was ruled by a female monarch Queen Elizabeth I for over four decades, most women had little or no power over their own lives. Women were denied formal education, the right to speak and the opportunity to hold office. Women were considered as weak and inferior to men and in need of always being protected. Women were expected to get married, bear children and look after the household. They were expected to obey the male members without question. They were expected to learn how to govern a household and become a skilled housewife. Single women were looked upon with suspicion. It was a solely patriarchal society with institutions such as marriage solely vested in elderly male authority. During that time the father chose whom his
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We can clearly understand this when, while talking about Hero getting married, Antonio, Leonato’s brother says to Hero “Well niece, I trust you will be rul’d by your father”. (ActII.Scene1, 35-40). Throughout the play, we understand that Hero is a woman solely constructed by the norms of the society and family. She does not have her own say. Throughout the play she is being suppressed by the societal norms. Shakespeare has structured the character of Hero on the lines of a traditional Elizabethan woman, silent and dominated. Through the character of Hero Shakespeare has tried to portray the piteous state of Elizabethan women. However, Beatrice was a little different. She openly objects male dominance. She was not ready to submit herself to male dominance and authority. While talking to her uncle Leanato about her marriage, Beatrice clearly says, “Not till god make men of some other metal than earth: would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust, to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I’ll none. Adam’s sons are my brethren; and truly I hold it a sin to match in my
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