Much Ado Is Mysodginistic and Conservative

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Both Benedick and Beatrice hate the idea of marriage and continuously express this view throughout the play by saying things like “I’d rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me”. Here, Beatrice clearly turns away the idea of love and marriage, going against the status quo. However, once Beatrice hears that Benedick loves her, her views suddenly change, she conforms to the pursuit of marriage and begins to fulfil her socially sanctioned, womanly role. The play at this point becomes conservative, as all the characters are conforming to society’s norms. In Much Ado, Hero is referred to as a “jewel”. Claudio uses the term which can be seen as a compliment, this could be signifying your rarity, beauty and elegance. However, this word has many meanings behind it. Jewels are used for show, things that look good on a man’s arm, and then are put away at the end of the day, or once they are no longer needed. This implies that Hero is only there for her physical appearance – a very demeaning portrayal of women, focusing as it does on their objectification. Much ado is very misogynistic as women like Hero are constantly being taken advantage of. Woman are seen as mere possessions and used whenever they are deemed fit. This reflects male dominance and patriarchy. Women are the weaker sex in this play: they are forced into giving into male power by doing what they are told; which is expected of them. Characters like Beatrice do not conform: she is the complete opposite to what a woman should have been like in Elizabethan times. Women were expected to be quiet and obedient. She, however, is a loud, aggressive and sarcastic character, and she does not obey the commands of any man. If anything she gives commands, ordering Benedick to “kill Claudio”. Beatrice alone subverts the status quo – showing that this play is not conservative. In the play and, by

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