How Shakespeare Develops the Relationship between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

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How Shakespeare Develops the Relationship between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing


During Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick and Beatrice certainly have an
exceedingly tempestuous relationship that goes through many stages
through the play.

In Act I, Scene 1, it seems that they have met before, as Beatrice
says she “know[s him] of old” (l.107), which could imply that they
were in a relationship before the war Benedick has just returned from
at the beginning of the play.

Although she acts as though she hates Benedick when she is talking to
him, Beatrice seems to care for him before he returns, as she asks the
messenger who brings the news of the returning soldiers if “Signor
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The second main scene for examining the relationship’s development is
the masked ball, where Benedick and Beatrice dance with one another,
whilst Benedick wears a mask. This scene is not only important from a
textual point of view, but it is also because of the possibilities for
the mise-en-scène. A director in producing this scene may consider
the many possibilities in the ways he could make the Benedick and
Beatrice characters act towards each other singularly, and how they
move together. As this scene is set at a masked ball with the sets of
dancing characters moving into the main focal point of the scene one
after the other, Benedick and Beatrice would be dancing also. There
are two ways in which Benedick and Beatrice could dance together, and
these could give different views of how they are together. If they
danced badly, with Benedick treading on Beatrice’s toes, for example,
it would show how they were bad together and how their relationship
doesn’t really work. If they danced well, it would show how they
worked well together, and they were meant to be together, as it would
show how they could act together as a single unit. The way they
danced would reflect the way the director interpreted the text
throughout the play.

We cannot tell whether…