Differences between Beatrice and Hero in Much Ado about Nothing

1203 Words 5 Pages
Differences between Beatrice and Hero in the early scenes of Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’

Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ has two main female characters, Beatrice and Hero, who are cousins. Both appear to be completely different in the beginning of the play but, as things progress and their characters develop, there are also some very obvious similarities between them. Hero and Beatrice have a very close relationship; they are best friends. Leonato is Hero’s father but Beatrice has no parents, which gives her greater freedom. Where Hero is polite, quiet, respectful and gentle, Beatrice is feisty, cynical, witty, and sharp.

Shakespeare uses quite a lot of literary devices and techniques to present the
…show more content…
Beatrice’s vulnerability is an important point of comparison with Hero, as she is also vulnerable, as we see later in the play.

In contrast to her talkative cousin, Hero speaks only once in Act 1 – in the presence of Beatrice, her father and the messenger, “My cousin means Signor Benedick of Padua” she says, to explain Beatrice’s jibe.

Similarly, in comparing wooing, wedding and repenting to three types of dancing Beatrice describes them as a “Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinquepace.” This dance image is an inventive one and dance, music, and song are key themes in this play. Here Shakespeare is using an extended metaphor to portray Beatrice’s anti-matrimonial feelings. Of course, these feelings are not genuine. As we see throughout, disguise is one of the key themes in the play and Shakespeare makes it clear that Beatrice is disguising her true feelings, for she admits to Don Pedro that Benedick once “lent her his heart awhile but won her heart with false dice”. She and Benedick obviously have had a relationship in the past – one that they would both like to resume.


In Act 3, in the absence of men, Shakespeare develops Hero’s character. She is decisive in Scene One and commanding, “Good Margaret, run thee to the parlour” she orders. We witness a development in Hero’s character; she is dominant and authoritative; she initiates and organises the plot to gull Beatrice, the second benevolent plot in the play. For the…