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Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice And Hero Essay

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Compare/Contrast Essays - Comparison of Beatrice and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing


In the play of `Much Ado About Nothing', Beatrice is portrayed as a witty and strong willed woman who talks a great deal, appearing determined not to marry. However, Don Pedro concocts a plot that brings her together with Benedick and they marry at the end.

She was an orphan, the niece of Leonato. Her most obvious objective is to stay a lonely spinster. She has known Benedick for years and because he wants to be a bachelor their hate for the opposite sex clashes- until they fall in love that is. She never realized that she could love anyone other than her self until she found someone that was the exact copy of her. Once she fell in love she couldn't be helped.

The author portrays Beatrice as being very dominant and strong woman. I believe she protects her cousin and her family from the accusation that has been projected towards Hero as this has insulted not only Hero but also her family. When she is in the tabernacle with Benedict and confessing her love for him....she shows her demanding nature by essentially forcing Benedict to choose between the brotherly love of men and the loyalty of a man to his wife. Beatrice knows that she must destroy Benedict's former male bonding. Her order is therefore a command for Benedict to support her against Claudio, and represents the only way for them to have a mature relationship. Although being quite intelligent, Beatrice does manage to appear gullible when she overhears Hero and another woman discussing Benedict and Beatrice's relationship. So this can be seen that Beatrice does have a softer side as well.

Beatrice is the ever-witty Lady Disdain, outspoken and opinionated niece of Leonato. She and Benedick are involved in a "merry sort of war". Always ragging on each other in a sort of easy going way, but never the less hurting each other's feelings. Both are cynical about Love. Beatrice is described by her uncle to mock all of her wooers out of suite. Her and Benedick are tricked into falling in love by a few well-placed lies, causing them to realize how much they really cared for each other.

Hero is a modest, docile, bland, well-behaved blushing young daughter of Leonato. She and Claudio seem to be the more boring couple in the story and they never really seem to be in Love. When Hero is accused at the altar of being unfaithful she is so timid she does not even press her truth and faints to the ground.

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Hero and Beatrice are just about as opposite as night and day. Their one similarity is that both are witty and tease each other in their own way.

We first see Hero's modest wit portrayed in the first scene when Beatrice makes a pun referring to Signior Benedick's fighting skills by referring to him as Signior Mountanto and asking the messenger if has returned. Hero replies with her own subtle wit, and like a best girlfriend who is in on a private joke and knows that Beatrice admires Signior Benedick more than she is willing to admit, she explains to the company, "My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua" (I.i.30). Though the wit is subtle, we can most definitely hear the teasing tone that Hero is aiming at her beloved cousin. We can also hear her modest, flirtatious wit when at the masquerade, a man in a mask, whom she thinks is the prince, asks her to "walk about with him," meaning dance with him, and she flirtatiously replies that so long as he dances gracefully, is handsome, and says nothing she is his for the dance and her presence may even linger after the dance has ended and she has "walked away," as we see in her lines:

So you walk softly and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and especially when I walk away. (II.i.74-75)

Examples of Beatrice's wit are far more dramatic; she especially enjoys making fun of Benedick and of marriage in general. We see her wit being used to insult Benedick when she refers to him first as a man with "an excellent stomach" and then as a "stuffed man," like a dummy (I.i.42, 48). We also see one instance of her wit with respect to making fun of the act of marriage when she tells Hero that romance is like a dance. She relates the act of courtship to a "hot and hasty dance," the wedding to a ceremonial dance that would be performed before the state, or before the king, and she relates the act of regretting the marriage to a dance called the "cinquepace," which is a fast paste five step dance that goes faster and faster until the man Hero marries "sink into his grave" (II.i.62-68).

While Hero and Beatrice have wit in common, Hero is very gentle and submissive, while Beatrice is rebellious. We especially see Hero's submissiveness in contrast to Beatrice's rebelliousness with respect to their views on marriage. Hero is very submissive to her father and is willing to marry whom ever he asks her to. When Leonato eroneously discovers that Prince Don Pedro wishes to ask Hero to marry him, Leonato encourages Hero to accept as we see when he reminds her, "Daughter, remember what I told you. If the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer" and Hero very submissivly conscents (II.i.57-58). In contrast, Beatrice rebells against the entire idea of marriage, as we see in her proclamation, "[I]f he send me no husband; for the which blessing / I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening" (23-25).

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