Doubts&Uncertainties in Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing

1903 Words Feb 26th, 2014 8 Pages
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Love, hate, fair and foul are tightly entwined around the core of drama. Although they are extreme opposite, they blur together to create the perfect partnership, which allows characters to appear different to their internal feelings. Whether it’s through the ‘barbed banter’ of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ or the ‘saucy doubts and fears’ of Macbeth, Shakespeare presents scenarios where central characters place their credence where they should have agnosticism and their doubts where they should act with surety.

Shakespeare clearly presents Beatrice and Benedick rooted in animosity towards one another. They frequently express their certainty of this; for example when Benedick labels Beatrice as ‘Lady Disdain’, so she retaliates by
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I will requite thee’. Beatrice’s emotions have experienced a drastic change since Act 1 Scene 1, where she is noted as insulting Benedick’s appearance by saying ‘Scratching could not make it worse, and ‘twere such a face as yours were’. Judging by this, it seems almost impossible to think she could feel any remotely benevolent feelings towards him, but further analysis into the play suggests the opposite. In act 1 Scene 1, Beatrice says ‘I know you of old’, which proposes the idea that there has been a history between the two, unknown to the reader.

When Beatrice and Benedick finally profess their love for each other in Act 4, Shakespeare continues the sprinkling of doubts and uncertainties through his convoluted use of syntax, repetition of negative ideas and paradox.

‘I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is that not strange?’

In Act 4 Scene 1, Beatrice and Benedick are left in private, which gives them the opportunity to reveal their feelings for one another. The addition of the question at the end of the quotation denotes that Benedick has realised the enormity of what he has just stated, so therefore questions Beatrice and labels it as strange to make it seem less significant, as he still has feelings of doubt over his new emotions. Benedick is eager to know what Beatrice really thinks of him, much like in Act 2 Scene 1 at the Masked Ball, where he questions ‘I pray you, what is he?’ in hope of uncovering a deep feeling that Beatrice holds for him, only
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