Theme Of Love In Much Ado About Nothing

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Love. Love is expressed and heralded in various ways in every culture across the world. Many humans are unwilling, too stubborn, or simply too independent to admit their love or cave into love’s demands. On rare occasions, however, it is stubbornness and the yearning for independence that bring lovers together. William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” encompasses many different themes in a relatively short play. The theme of the most importance and the most persistence throughout the play is independence. Many characters exemplify and demonstrate the importance, or unimportance, independence is life, but Benedick and Beatrice are, perhaps, the best example of independence in “Much Ado about Nothing”. Benedick and Beatrice’s sharp tongues …show more content…
(Shakespeare 1995, 2.1.36-39)
Benedick and Beatrice quite evidently have much chemistry through their playful banter throughout the entire play. It is obvious, as well, that Beatrice and Benedick had quite the history that was not covered in the play.
Benedick and Beatrice have much more than just a small history. Joost Daalder (2004) in his “Pre- History of Beatrice and Benedick,” suggests that Beatrice believes that Benedick is more capable than Cupid when it comes to making a woman swoon over him. He quotes Beatrice saying, “[Benedick] challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid and challenged him at the bird-bolt” (Daalder 2004, pg.523). This would suggest that Beatrice had indeed already previously fallen for Benedick and for the independence he displayed, which she can saw in herself. Benedick, as well as Beatrice, seemingly found as many excuses as possible to deny the love for each other to their friends throughout the course of the play. Marta Mateo’s research (2015) confirms this idea, telling of the, “merry war between these two individualists who try to hide their mutual love behind a mask of repulsion to marriage and their rejection of social conventions” (p.28). However, these lines of sass, excuses, and banter might have been
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Beatrice’s first words to Benedick upon his return were, “I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick, nobody marks you” (Shakespeare 1995, 1.1.114-115). Although Beatrice was witty with all characters throughout the play, her tone directed at Benedick is much sharper and indicative of a past containing some potential relationship problems. A woman using Beatrice’s words and tone would most likely have had feelings for the man she directed those words at. To this extent, Daalder (2004) asserts that in the past, “Beatrice, as a woman, was fully prepared for a relationship with Benedick. Benedick pledged his love to her, and she was won over by his pledge” (p. 522). Benedick was equally as pointed in his quip back at Beatrice when he replied, “What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?” (Shakespeare 1995, 1.1.116-117). The words uttered from Benedick’s mouth ally themselves more to the tone of a husband married for more years than stars on the American flag, rather than a proper gentleman bachelor in Shakespearian times. Benedick’s words were sour, yet delightful and playful enough to help the audience surmise more of the past relationship Benedick and Beatrice

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