What are the similarities and differences between Benedick and Beatrice?  

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Benedick and Beatrice, the sparring hearts at the center of William Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, are both witty, intelligent, and stubborn beyond belief. They both claim to be unable to stand the other but are ultimately more similar than they are different. Both begin the play with negative opinions of each other, of people of the opposite sex in general, and of the very institution of marriage.

That being said, once they each separately overhear their friends talking about the other's love for them, they both quickly change their tune and fall in love. This rapid reversal seems to indicate that their earlier hard stances against one another stemmed more from stubbornness and fear of being hurt than from any actual deeply held beliefs.

The supposed differences that they begin the play with—like Benedick's professed misogyny versus Beatrice's defense of women—quickly melt away once they get real with each other about their feelings. Benedick proves to be supportive of women when he agrees with Beatrice to give her cousin the benefit of the doubt when she is wrongly accused of being unfaithful.

As the pair grow closer and fall in love, it is clear that they used to butt heads not because of any significant differences, but actually because they are so similar.

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Beatrice and Benedick are probably more similar than they are different.  They are both stubborn and independent.  They are both willing to live single lives to avoid being hurt or wounded by the opposite sex.  They are both very clever - so much so that they delight in verbal warfare whenever they see one another (although it can, at times, lead to hurt feelings).  They are both very loyal to their friends and family.  And they both easily fall in love with the other when convinced that it is safe - that the other person already loves them!

Differences, really, are minimal, which is why they make such a perfect couple, as Don Pedro points out before teaching everyone else how to trick the two of them into falling in love!

Check the links below for more information about these great characters!  Good luck!

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