How is love portrayed in both Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?

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Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth and Darcy have much in common with Much Ado's Beatrice and Benedick. Both plays show through these characters that true love can be sparked by initial conflict.

Elizabeth and Beatrice are both intelligent, high spirited women who are never at a loss for words. Each faces off against a seemingly misogynist male: in Elizabeth's case, she is incited to a prejudicial dislike of the arrogant Darcy when she overhears him saying she is not pretty enough to "tempt" him to a dance. Rather than flatter and cater to him as most women in do in hopes of attracting a marriage offer, she startles and entices him with her cutting comments. Likewise, Beatrice, who seems to have had a history with Benedick before the play opens, treats him with sharp-tongued, witty disdain and initially rejects this man who says he has no interest in marriage.

But such sparks and hostility in both cases are alluring and lead to true love.

Both works also show a pair of more conventional...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 620 words.)

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