Is Shakespeare's 'Much Ado' Too Misogynistic to Be a Modern Day Rom-Com?

1506 Words Mar 30th, 2013 7 Pages
Eman Quisay

Is Shakespeare’s ‘’Much Ado about Nothing’’ too misogynistic to be a modern day rom-com?

Much Ado is a play about love and comedy in a semi courtly setting in the small town of Messina, Italy. In comes the soldiers and everyone rejoices the women dress in their fine clothes in hopes of looking presentable. After all the excitement calmed a little and the women are dressed, they go and meet the soldiers as a household. Leonato whom is the father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice goes and welcomes Don Pedro, the prince, and his companions: Claudio, Benedick and Don John among others. Across the courtyard there is a young love blooming as Claudio gazes at fair Hero and falls in love with her. Simultaneously Beatrice and
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The very next day comes along and Claudio weds the ‘other Hero’ and they live happily ever after with Hero only saying a handful of lines till the end. Synchronously the story of Beatrice and Benedick unravels. Stuck in a merry war with each other, Beatrice and Benedick seem like an implausible couple. They insult each other at every turn. The focus of the play is on the young love, which might have been what the Elizabethan audience was fixated on, but now in the 21st century with our modified views on women, the romance of the play is in the love shared between Beatrice and Benedick. Beatrice is the independent, strong and opinionated woman traits that we, nowadays, think are important in a woman. She isn’t afraid to voice her opinions, insult Benedick or be bawdy in her humor. She relishes defying the status quo and surprising the men with her antagonistic attitude. The love story is quite obvious to our eyes where she starts insulting Signor Benedick, even when he wasn’t speaking to her, ‘’I wonder that you will be talking, Signor Benedick, nobody marks you.’’ She is trying to pick a fight just to get a ruse out of him. She is directly insulting him in a manner ‘unsuitable’ of a lady in Elizabethan times, ‘’scratching could not make it worse an ‘twere such a face as yours were.’’ Everyone in Shakespeare’s audience would have
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