The Lives of The Female Characters In Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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The Lives of The Female Characters In Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare


It is hard to imagine that there could or ever have been restrictions
on the choice of one’s spouse become a reality, more so far for women
than men. Women’s rights, especially when it came to choosing a mate,
were minimal during the Elizabethan period. Marriages for women tended
to be arranged or not allowed before, during and after the 16th
century. One might wonder what rights women did have, concerning
marriage and how could they be seen in the play, “Much Ado About
Nothing” by William Shakespeare.

In Elizabethan England, women were only seen as marriageable if they
kept their virginity. During the time in
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In Elizabethan times, a
young girl’s aims were to get married at a young age, so an audience
in those may have been surprised by Beatrice’s rebellious nature.

Hero on the other hand would have been seen as an agreeable character
who obeys fathers will and is always helpful. We see this throughout
the play, such as when Antonio and Hero’s father warn her that prince
Don Pedro may ask her to marry him on the night of the ball. Hero says
nothing, however we see her co-operation through Beatrice’s remarks
“is it my cousin’s duty to make courtesy and say, Father, as it please
you.” She is helpful in the plot to bring about Beatrice and Benedick
together as we see by her statement: “I will do any modest office, my
lord, to help my cousin to a good husband. In modern times, we see
Hero’s character as sweet and innocent.

In modern times Beatrice would be seen as a socially acceptable
character. She is witty, cheeky and thinks for herself. We see her as
mischievous throughout the whole play, especially in her conversations
with and about Benedick, in which she uncontrollably mocks him. We can
see this in one of her opening lines in the play; in act 1 scene 1 she
sarcastically queries “How many hath Signor Benedick killed? For
indeed, I promised to eat all of his killings.” When Benedick arrives
we see their first meeting of the play, complete with…