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How is the theme of love portrayed through Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About...

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foreveryoung2 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM via web

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How is the theme of love portrayed through Beatrice in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing ?

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tamarakh | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM (Answer #1)

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The theme of love as portrayed through Beatrice particularly deals with the need for an absence of excessive pride in love. This theme is particularly portrayed through her actions and her repentance of her actions.

When Hero and Ursula trick Beatrice into believing that Benedick is in love with her, Hero spends a great deal of time pointing out her cousin's faults. We especially see Hero point out Beatrice's excessive pride and tendency to be overly critical, to hate, and to ridicule in her lines:

But Nature never framed a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes. (III.i.50-52).

Hero also points out, that as an attribute of excessive pride, should Hero tell Beatrice that her actions are wrong, Beatrice would merely make fun of Hero's wisdom and "press [her] to death with wit," just like she would do to Benedick should he confess his love for her (77-82).

When Beatrice hears her criticisms, she decides to amend her ways, showing us just how much Beatrice portrays the theme of love concerning the need to do away with excessive pride. We especially see Beatrice make the decision to amend her ways when we see her proclaim:

Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu!
...
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee. (110-113) 

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lift45 | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted June 13, 2011 at 6:22 AM (Answer #2)

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i can give you some ideas, i also had that question for homework, a past igcse exam but dont have it here.

Beatrice was a character very similar to Benedick.  She was a very independent person, and didn't want to rely on anyone for support.  She also was very smart.She also was against marriage.  she  said that she would rather die than get  married.  Another characteristic of Beatrice was that she was very emotional.  She often changed her mood all of a sudden for no apparent reason.  Alsokept many of her feelings inside her.  Sometimes she would be angry but wouldn't show it,because she always had to feel strong, and look like she didn't need anyone. 
The traits and characteristics of Beatrice and Benedick were what brought them together, and also what separated them. Beatrice and Benedick were separated because, they always thought that they had to be independent, and not need each other. They try to seem strong, they were actually fighting with each other, and hurting each other's feelings. The final thing that kept Benedick and Beatrice from coming together was that they both thought that marriage was a stupid institution.  If neither of them wanted to get married, it would be very hard for them to have a relationship.  Some factors brought Benedick and Beatrice together though.  First, they never got bored of each other.   they disagreed on many issues, and were both able to argue well. Benedick and Beatrice had very similar personalities.  They both were strong and independent.  They both were against marriage, and both were happier alone, or so they thought.  Finally Benedick and Beatrice needed each other. They would be bored and somewhat lonely if they didn't have each other around, even if they were arguing. 
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. A key scene for me in the kind of love that their relationship represents is actually towards the end of the play, in Act V scene 2. Benedick proves his love for Beatrice when he rejects and challenges his best friend in favor of Hero.  By doing this he shows Beatrice that he trusts and believes in her.  This may not seem to be a big deal but in this masculine wold it is.  Her own father believes the acquisition in the beginning.  It is Beatrice who knows that Hero is blameless.One of the wonderful things about their relationship is that they are both witty and intelligent and even in marriage this will not change.  There is an equality implied.

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