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…