Theme Of Beatrice In Much Ado About Nothing

900 Words4 Pages
Shakespeare established Beatrice’s character in order to bring to the stage opposition to the “ typical woman” of the Elizabethan era and shed light on gender inequality. Hero seems to be the optimal woman, polite, obedient, and quiet. She supports societies patriarchal views, submitting first to her father, who commands her to accept Claudio’s hand when he proposes, and submissive to her new fiancé, even after he publicly humiliates her. Beatrice, on the other hand, is cynical, sharp, witty, and a feisty woman. A woman legitimately criticizing a man does not go with gender roles in this society, and therefore Leonato feels the need to cover it up, belittling and dismissing what Beatrice has to say -- her honest opinion of Benedick. The same issue seems to arise when Beatrice and Benedick banter back and forth. Beatrice takes jabs at Benedick’s character, and unable to handle a woman insulting him, he gives up, or cops out. Beatrice stands out as a character in Much Ado about nothing because she is a proud, strong female character, rare during Shakespeare’s time. She refuses to marry because she hasn’t found a perfect equal partner and is unwilling to submit her control and freedom to a husband. She yearns to be equal with men, something that challenges the gender inequality of Elizabethan time. The way Shakespeare has the men view the women characters in Much Ado About Nothing also gives insight into Elizabethan gender equality as well. Throughout the play, women
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