Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Essay

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Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The themes of love, marriage and courtship are an important part of 'Much Ado about nothing'; they are presented in a way that reflects the attitudes of the society at that time. I will explore the different attitudes of modern audiences and Shakespeare's audience towards these themes in the play.

The two examples of relationships I have chosen are Beatrice and Benedick's and Hero and Claudio's. This is because I think they are in contrast with each other, at the beginning of the play it appears that Hero and Claudio will be the perfect couple formed in a conventional way, Claudio goes through the right channels and their marriage is
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Although Shakespeare's plays present love as unpredictable, as there are many images of cupid in 'Much Ado' as well as love at first sight in his other plays such as in Romeo and Juliet.

Beatrice and Benedick's relationship appeals more to a modern audience, they are direct and confident in expressing their own opinions and the opinion that they have of each other. Even when Beatrice and Benedick are in agreement with each other that is, that they are against marriage, they cannot help but quarrel.

Benedick: God keep your ladyship in that mind so some gentlemen or other shall scape a predestinate scratched face

Beatrice: scratching could not make it worse and t'were such a face as yours.

This constant bickering between Beatrice and Benedick is a passion which their relationship is built upon, each are intuitive they echo the others language. They are not wooing in the expected ways because their relationship is one of equals. This is in contrast to the way that Hero and Claudio court; he cannot imagine Hero as a passionate and sexual being 'but as a brother to a sister showed bashful sincerity'.

The way in which the two couples communicate with each other gives the audience a useful insight into how well they know each other. Early on in the play we realise Beatrice and Benedick have known each other for a while, 'I know you of old' says Beatrice, they
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