Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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What is Beatrice and Benedick's attitude towards love as expressed in Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing ?

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In Act 4, Scene 1, we see that both Benedick and Beatrice view love as an emotion that they both wanted to steer clear of, but also as a happy, relieving emotion. Beyond that, they also see love as a test of loyalty. Beatrice believes that if Benedick is not loyal to her in doing her bidding that it means that he does not truly love her, while Benedick believes that he should also be loyal to his friend Claudio, which makes it very difficult for him to do Beatrice's bidding.

In Act 4, Scene 1, we still see traces of Beatrice's and Benedick's earlier resistances to falling in love when we see...

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Beatrice and Benedick’s attitude towards love are both negative. They are both dismissive of the opposite sex, they hint at this whilst throwing insults at each other when they meet; “It is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted. And I would I could find it in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none”.  Benedick portrays himself here as desirable yet unattainable.
Beatrice replies; “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me,” this quote clearly shows that Beatrice is completely against ever falling in love and that it’s less exciting/interesting that watching a dog bark at a crow.  She is very cynical of love and uses wit to show it.


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