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…