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Love In William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

Decent Essays
William Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing, is centered around two unconventional love plots. Although the play is about the picturesque love story of Hero and Claudio, the play’s underlying focus is on the idealistic love story of Benedick and Beatrice’s complicated relationship. “Love at first sight” is a trope that pervades throughout the play and a cliche of modern romance, but the trope was contemporarily popular in Shakespeare's life and can even be found as far back in the past to ancient Greek literature. Traditionally, the mid-first century Greek novels revolved around the romance trope of “love at first sight” due to the heroine fitting the archetype of a beautiful elite woman (Lindheim). However, William Shakespeare alters this idea as characters are constantly taking second looks at one another and to the idea of marriage – in sum their idea of love changes throughout the play. In one portion of the play, Benedick rants about and disputes the conventions of love, stating how they can make a young man leave the social world of masculinity behind (2.3.6-36). Benedick’s soliloquy, 2.3.6-36, subverts the trope of “love at first sight” by associating “sight” with the truth rather than love. Benedick "sees" the underlying truth of how “love” makes a man change his masculine ways to obtain a superficial love. In this way, he refutes the convention of “courtly love,” by instead stating how the convention causes a man to leave the domain of the male world and
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