How do Beatrice and Benedick defy romantic expectations in "Much Ado About Nothin"? Essay
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Critics have described Beatrice and Benedick as characters who defy the romantic expectation. Evaluate this and other interpretations, adding your own personal responses.
In Much Ado About Nothing, the principal characters of the plot are Beatrice and Benedict (though some see Hero and Claudio as the main storyline in the play) and are poles apart it first seems. Beatrice is fiery and independent, and doesn’t live up to the Victorian stereotype that her more reserved and naïve cousin Hero does. Benedick also doesn’t sit with his stereotype either, though more so than Beatrice does. At one point in the play, both declare that they should never want to fall in love “I would rather hear a dog bark at a crow than hear a man swears he loves me” from Beatrice and “truly., I love none” from Benedick. The fact that these two characters both so openly defy love makes it obvious that they will eventually have to eat their words and will fall in love. The storyline of Beatrice and Benedick is meant to be the antithesis to the more conventional and typical representation of love at the time which is used in Hero and Claudio’s story, and it shows. Whilst Hero and Claudio trade compliments with each other and talk constantly of their unfailing love etc Beatrice and Benedick are trading insults, which sets the tone for the play and their relationship.
Beatrice is a very unique character. She seems way ahead of our time and indeed her sex. Beatrice lives in a very patriarchal society, but even so she shows she is not shackled by her gender, and converses freely with men and indeed more than often on her own terms, as she has a sharp tongue in her head. This is yet another contrast to Hero, quite and respectful, she would never speak ill of a man as Beatrice does about Signor Benedick. Another thing that shows her independence is that all the men were returning from war, and