She implies that they had former dealings, ‘he leant it me awhile’ that he professed he had feelings for her, and she returned them doubly, but then he proved to be false. Although Shakespeare never returns to this idea of previous courting between the two, it may still be useful in understanding their relationship, and it is interesting that it implies that deception existed between them before.
By this point in the play, the audience and the other characters in the play have realised that Benedick and Beatrice are perfect for each other, even if they wont admit it to themselves. Shakespeare uses the character of Don Pedro to think of a scheme, the ‘gullings’, involving positive deception: to stop Beatrice and Benedick deceiving themselves and to bring the pair to the positive resolution of their …show more content…
This second gulling is just as credible as the first, as the two women use many of the techniques that were used on Benedick.The two speak eloquently and metaphorically, in verse, which is traditionally most romantic. As a result Beatrice is utterly taken in, although her initial reaction is one of shock and disbelief: ‘What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?’. Once Beatrice is deceived into believing Benedick loves her, she decides instantly to change herself for him: she vows she will ‘tame’ her ‘wild heart’, and lose her traits of ‘contempt’ and ‘maiden pride’. Her conscious decision to change herself so that she can be with Benedick demonstrates her former love for him, and her instant passionate reaction proves that she had indeed been deceiving herself, and has loved him all along.
It is in Act 4, Scene 1, that the characters Benedick and Beatrice declare their love for each other, and we see the unquestionable positive resolution of their relationship; despite the fact that it is tested by the events in the other plot of the play: the collapse of Hero and Claudio’s engagement. Benedick and Beatrice do not deceive themselves or each other