The Character of Bendick in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

1742 Words Feb 6th, 2006 7 Pages
Explore the Development of Benedick's character throughout the play.

The character ‘Benedick' changes dramatically throughout Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing". It is the character ‘Beatrice' who invokes these changes into Benedick. At the beginning of the play Benedick appears to be an aristocratic soldier who is witty and intelligent. It is clear Benedick has a reputation as a noble soldier and brave man merely from the messenger's comments: "He hath done good service, lady, in these wars". Benedick has a continuing "merry war" of wits with Beatrice, who sees him as chauvinistic and arrogant. However, the attraction is evident as both bring up the other out of the blue. Benedick rests largely on his own judgments rather than the
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There is a dramatic transformation in Benedick and he even admits he should amend his faults for her. Benedick would not have changed for a woman, especially Beatrice, at the beginning of the play. Because the men appealed to Benedick's ‘hunter gatherer' side, he believes that Beatrice should be pitied and loved. He begins to speak from prose to verse, which linguistically shows his transformation.

In act 4, in preparation for the wedding, the men arrive to find Benedick sadder than usual. Claudio claims this is because Benedick is in love, he does not deny these charges, although he claims his mood is due to: "a toothache". He asks for a ‘private word' with Leonato, which indicates to the audience that is more than just an attraction to her, and that he wants advice from a ‘worldly wise' gentleman.
The change is Benedick is never so apparent as in Hero's social ruin. He is one of the only men to stand by hero. Rather than go with the strong group of men, he decides to stick by Beatrice, which shows his growing commitment to her. However the fact he also choose to keep Hero's secret, the audience could see this as Benedick turning into a typical ‘knight in shining amour' character.

When Beatrice and Benedick admit their love for one another, they switch from their regular witty banter, to a very emotional and romantic portrayal of a…