Benedick’s Soliloquy Analysis- Much Ado About Nothing Essay

1190 Words Jun 29th, 2008 5 Pages
Benedick’s Soliloquy Analysis
In the play of Much Ado About Nothing, the characters of Benedick and Beatrice have a love-hate relationship. On the surface, it appears that their relationship is built on a war of wits and insults. However, in Benedick’s soliloquy, the reader discovers that at the core of their insults actually lie the true feelings of love. It is also apparent that Benedick even sees loving each other as a competition, in that he wants to love her to a point of outdoing her love for him. Not only is Benedick constantly warring with Beatrice, but he is also undergoing an internal struggle, which is made quite apparent in Benedick’s soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 3.
Benedick, after overhearing Don Pedro, Claudio, and
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He continues with another soliloquy after he overhears the news of Beatrice’s feelings. The differences in the tone and attitude of the two soliloquies gives perfect insight to his capricious state of mind. This is comical because immediately before he overhears the three men speaking, he demeans men who fall in love so quickly and foolishly. He scorns at how one man, after “seeing how much another man is a fool when he/ dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath/ laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the/ argument of his own scorn by falling in love” (II.iii.8-11). This becomes ironic just moments later in the play when Benedick becomes the very thing he describes in his speech. Shakespeare included this soliloquy to exemplify Benedick’s indecisive nature, and to show great insight to his internal struggle.
Benedick claims that he there should be no shame is changing one’s mind about marriage. He is making excuses to himself as to why his outlook on love and women have changed so abruptly, undoubtedly readying himself to be the butt of the same wit and jokes that he has subjected Claudio: “I may/ chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit /broken on me because I have railed so long against marriage” (II.iii.223-225). He knows that he will most certainly face even more criticisms because he has changed his views so unexpectedly and rapidly. He says that he will be able to handle the…