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 them both use the term "protest" in their declarations of love. While the word protest can refer to a very serious, or "earnest declaration," it also means to object or to disapprove (Random House Dictionary). Hence, when Beatrice says, "You have stayed me in a happy hour. I was about to protest that I loved you," she is using...

(The entire section contains 505 words.)

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