By Comparing Relationships Between Benedick And Beatrice, Hero And Claudio, Examine How Shakespeare Explores The Theme Of Love

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The theme of love and romance is approached through the relationships of two distinctly contrasting couples in “Much Ado About Nothing”. The unexpected relationship of Beatrice and Benedick juxtaposes the more idealised love between Hero and Claudio. Beatrice, Benedick, Hero and Claudio are the immediate protagonists of the play-a story of how deception interrupts or spurs love between two very different couples. “Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable”, a quotation by Henry Ward Beecher, an American preacher. I feel it relevant to the play “Much Ado About Nothing” as it illustrates two different kinds of love; young and old-and the vast difference between a “young”, inexperienced couple, like Hero and Claudio, and an older, wiser and more “disciplined” couple like Beatrice and Benedick. William Shakespeare had frequently explored the boundaries of love though his plays and sonnets. Shakespeare uses typical slapstick humour to demonstrate that falling in love is trickery as he tells the story of the two pairs of lovers. The trickery of love plays a proverbial role in “Much Ado About Nothing”. Beatrice and Benedick, having initially an antagonistic view on marriage, are deceived into loving one another, whilst Claudio deceives himself by allowing Don Pedro to woo Hero for him and by believing Don John the Bastard that Hero had been unfaithful the night before they wed. This portrays young Claudio as passive, flippant and inexperienced. The love between Hero and Claudio begins almost immediately when the young soldier Claudio returns from war, realising that he is deeply in love with Hero and wants to ask her father for permission to marry her. It is evident women in the early 1600’s
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