The Presentation of the Relationship Between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing

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The Presentation of the Relationship Between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing

Beatrice is the niece of Leonato, a wealthy governor of Messina. She
is feisty, cynical, sharp and witty. Benedick has recently returned
from fighting in the wars. He is also witty, and like Beatrice is
always making jokes and puns. They both continue a ‘merry war’ against
each other, in which Beatrice often wins the battles. ‘They never met
but there’s a skirmish of wit between them’, as Leonato says. They
both appear content never to marry and swear never to fall in love.
Beatrice then describes their last fight, when ‘four of his five wits
went halting off’, and she continues teasingly to mock
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This could also
be suggested in the way Benedick uses ‘thou’ to address Beatrice and
Beatrice uses ‘You’ to address Benedick. Shakespeare may have used
this technique to show Beatrice has less status than Benedick. It
could also mean that she is being more reserved and cautious towards
Benedick.

The love story between Beatrice and Benedick begins from the love
between Claudio and Hero. Their relationship also depends upon and
compliments Claudio and Hero’s relationship. These relationships are
contrasted with each other. This appears significant because they link
together to create an image of understanding and harmony. Beatrice and
Benedick previously know each other and continue a ‘merry war’ that
started when they first met. When they eventually fall in love it
shows their maturity that they can show their feelings. In contrast to
the young lovers Claudio and Hero, they are older and more mature.
However, their constant competitiveness reveals them to be childish
when it comes to love. Claudio quickly falls in love with Hero when he
arrives, while Beatrice and Benedick resume the war of witty insults
they have carried on from the past. By the end of the play, however,
Beatrice and Benedick have earned each other. This is…