Problematic Marriage in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

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Questioning Marriage in Much Ado About Nothing


Much Ado About Nothing raises many important issues concerning the institution of marriage. Perhaps Shakespeare's purpose in writing this play was to question the existing approach to relationships and marriage. Shakespeare reveals the faults of the process through the characters of Hero and Claudio and also Hero's father, Leonato. Shakespeare also may be suggesting an alternative approach to marriage and relationships through the characters of Beatrice and Benedick.



Shakespeare does this through the characters of Hero and Claudio. Claudio suddenly becomes very enamored with Hero when returning from the war. Rather we should say that he has become quite
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If the/ Prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your/ answer."(2.1.57-59). She does not speak her own mind; she voices no opinion of what she wants for the rest of her life. In this scene, Shakespeare is showing the audience the typical way that people were married, which is that a man decides that he wants a woman based on fortune first, then maybe looks and personality, and then he asks the father can he have her, and the daughter just deals with whatever.



When Hero has been humiliated by Claudio, her father instantly says, "Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes"(4.1.121). He would rather she were dead that have this kind of shame brought on the family. He doesn't even consider once, until the friar speaks up, that Hero could be innocent of Claudio's charges. And then if this isn't enough, she (as her cousin) has the audacity to take Claudio back after he has publicly humiliated her just because her father tells her to. This is another example of how tightly women were trapped under their father's rule.



Beatrice and Benedick, however, in much contrast to Hero and Claudio are the ideal couple who are both equal in the relationship. Beatrice is an opinionated and stubborn woman who will have no one if she doesn't have the one she wants, which she makes clear throughout the play by refusing to marry lightly and by the conversation in Act One between her and Pedro. She chooses…