Suggested Essay Topics
Act I, Scene 1
1. Contrast the forms of language used by Leonato, Don Pedro, and Claudio with that of Benedick and Beatrice. Why did Shakespeare give them differing forms of expression? What do these forms tell you about the nature of the characters and the probable direction the play will take? Who are the least predictable and most predictable characters and why?
2. Shakespeare has introduced the concept of masks, or deception, at the onset of the play. Cite the use of this concept. What information does this give us about the theme of the play?
3. Beatrice masks her concern for Benedick with her wit. What does the dialogue suggest about their prior encounters and future encounters? Use the text to explain.
4. When Claudio asks Benedick about Hero's modesty, Benedick responds by asking whether Claudio wants an honest response or his customary macho response. What does this tell you about Benedick's awareness of his own nature? Using the text, discuss Benedick's answer to Claudio's question.
Act I, Scene 2
1. In the text, Leonato refuses Antonio's offer to send for the eavesdropping servant. Why? Does he not wish to enlarge on the report? Does he not wish to seem over-anxious? Does he trust his brother implicitly? Explain.
2. In a town where news travels quickly, who else might the servant tell his report to? Might the town now have two rumored suitors for...
(The entire section is 2011 words.)
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