The Foolishness Of Love Is A Force That Exceeds Our Rational Judgment

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Viktoryia Hvozdz Professor Bradley Irish English 321 8 October, 2015 The Foolishness of Love Romantic love is a force that exceeds our rational judgment. Out of nowhere, it descends upon us and destroys our previous notions of ourselves, making us act in uncharacteristic ways. We do not choose whom and when to love; and falling in love reminds us of how little control we have over our lives. In spite of this, romantic love is often viewed today as a sure path to ever-lasting happiness. Shakespeare, however, was far more realistic in his portrayal of romance. In his plays, love often functions as more of a treacherous force overcoming the characters’ rational selves than a source of ultimate fulfillment. Falling in love is often against our best interests, and no one is more aware of this than Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing. Both of them staunch bachelors, they know all too well that love makes people vulnerable and often miserable. Beatrice is sensitive to inequality inherent in marriage whereby a wife should subjugate herself to her husband. She calls men “pieces of valiant dust” and insists she does not want to be ruled by them: “Would it not grieve a woman . . . to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?” (2.1.51-53). She values her independence. With her sharp tongue and a quick wit, she has no problem keeping men at bay; and she prefers it that way. Benedick also proudly rejects love. When Claudio admits his feelings for Hero, Benedick

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