Benedick's Changing Character in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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Benedick's Changing Character in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

During the play "Much Ado About Nothing", Benedick's character changes dramatically towards certain aspects of life, namely in his attitude towards women and love. At the beginning of the play Benedick is portrayed as an experienced soldier and a knowledgeable scholar but with little interest in women, love, and marriage; a partly formed Renaissance man. His friends were mainly his army colleagues those whom, he had fought alongside when at war. However, as the play progresses, we see him become easily influenced by others and his attitude towards life change, thus displaying his 'giddy' character.

In the first scenes
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Don Pedro sees something in Beatrice and Benedick's relationship that no-one else sees. He thinks about both of their characters and realizes that they are both missing one important key to life, love. They both nearly have completed their tripartite soul. Benedick has seen action, he is well educated, but he is missing passion. Beatrice, has beauty, chastity, however she is also missing passion. Don Pedro thinks they are a match and he decides to play cupid between the two. Don Pedro plans for Leonato, himself and Claudio to have a conversation in the orchard which is going to be overheard by Benedick. They talk about Beatrice being in love with Benedick; while they are talking Benedick is hiding behind a tree, listening to every word. This is a clever plan to make each party feel sorry for the other, and therefore fall in love with each other. It works very well. Benedick listens he starts to believe that they might be telling the truth. Leonato remarks that Beatrice says

"By my own spirit; for I should flout him, if he writ to me; yea though I love him, I should"

Benedick believes that these are strong words for anyone to make up so from then on he starts to believe what the men are saying. He starts to appear vulnerable, believing what these men are saying to each other. After Leonato, Don Pedro and Claudio have had this forced
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