Illustration of Hero wearing a mask

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

Start Free Trial

In Much Ado About Nothing, what are Benedick's physical obstacles in Act 1, Scene 1?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Act I, Scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing, the scene is set in front of Leonato's house and a messenger is telling Leonato, Beatrice and Hero that guests are coming. Soon the guests, Don Pedro, Don John, Claudio, Benedick, and Balthasar, enter the stage and join the others in front of Leonato's house. So far, it doesn't seem that Benedick has any significant physical obstacles to bear or to overcome.

Following their arrival, the guests engage in playful banter with their host Leonato until Beatrice joins in for a two-way round of charming verbal insults with Benedick. After this Leonato leads his guests into his house, so "Exeunt all except Benedick and Claudio," who stay to air a confidence shared by Claudio. Thus far, Benedick bears, encounters, overcomes no physical obstacle.
Claudio and Benedick exchange opinions of Hero (Claudio likes her; Benedick doesn't) until Don Pedro reappears to inquire as to what secret has kept them from joining Leonato.

Benedick asks to be commanded to tell--he is eager to tell Claudio's love secret--and Don Pedro obliges by charging Benedick to tell all. The three exchange witticisms about love and women and about Benedick's proclamation that he will continually live a bachelor until Benedick exits to take Don Pedro's message saying he will be there shortly for supper to Leonato. Here, again, are no physical obstacles associated with Benedick. Claudio and Don Pedro consult about how to win Hero's love and hand for Claudio until the Act I, Scene 1 curtain. [Perhaps your question is meant to be directed toward a film version of Much Ado About Nothing?]

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team