Can you explain about the theme of love in "Much Ado About Nothing"?answer it in essay form.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Love cannot be poured into stereotypical molds.  The society of the day, in the play, and the society of Don Pedro and his men showed men to be superior to women and in control of women while women were subservient fluff.  The "merry war" that Leonato refers to in Act 1, sc. 1 exists between Beatrice and Benedick, in part, because of this gender stereotyping.  Beatrice is not the typical meek woman bowing to men's wishes.  She is opinionated and forthright which flies in contrast to what Benedick is accustomed.  Still, a part of him admires this spirit and intelligence in her.  At first, Hero is the stereotypical young lady of Messina and Claudio is the typical dashing hero bent on marrying her.  Until, that is, he thinks she is sullied, then he ruthlessly casts her aside in a public humiliation.  When he finally sees things from her side and is shown how he has been wrong in his thinking, the two of them marry with a more equal relationship.  Beatrice tells the love-smitten Benedick when he asks what he can do to make her happy again after the humiliating scene with Hero that she wants him to kill Claudio.  He, at first, refuses, then he relents as he comes to see things from her perspective.  This is the first real step in their love relationship.  The two begin to break the stereotype molds and enter into a relationship on a more even ground. 

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Much Ado About Nothing

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