Shakespeare: Then and Now
Compare and Contrast: Claudio and Benedick
Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is a play that follows a small group of friends from a high-class society in Massina. Two of this group are friends are Claudio and Benedick. In the beginning of the play they are seemingly similar, in that they both are of an upper-class upbringing and do their best to maintain their social reputation. The characters are made as to enhance their differences by the end of the play; they are foils to one another. Both Benedick and Claudio find themselves fooled by other characters in the play and have to decide what they are willing to believe is true and what is false, furthermore both
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Claudio falls for the lie that his friend, Don Pedro, who offered to help Claudio woo Hero has actually planed to woo her for himself, Claudio as gullible as he is believes Don John’s lies. “Claudio permits the masked Don Pedro, prince of Arragon, to woo Hero in his place but then is misled into believing that the prince has betrayed him and courted Hero for himself.” (Shakespeare’s Comedies 104) Once the treason is proven false Claudio goes right back to being his pleasant self and accepts Hero with no questions asked. “Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange.” (Much Ado About Nothing 2.1.304-306) Benedick is so back and forth with his feelings for Hero it makes his love appear to be very uncertain. After being bombarded by all the recent talk of love from all of his friends, including Claudio, a military man he would have thought would never have let himself be attached to any lady. Benedick begins to wonder if he too might fall for someone, because if a solder like Claudio can be swayed to fall in love, surely Benedick himself could also. He then decides what sort of woman would be able to win his heart. Benedick’s standers are high and very specific.
One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none;