Beatrice and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing Essay
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Beatrice and Hero in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
Beatrice is a young, attractive woman, who lives to be an unconventional member of her community. She is technically a free woman as her father died when she was younger and she has no one to say to her no, or that’s enough, or in general tell her what to do. She lives her life as she wishes and is known as Lady Disdain by one of her fellow characters, Benedick.
However, Hero is the complete opposite to her cousin Beatrice. She too is an only child; she is rich and would be a good catch for any man of her time. She is as decorative as a porcelain doll and never complains. She is also loyal to her friends and family, and always…show more content…
Beatrice sees herself as equal to most men. She is witty and confident, and cannot pass through the day without making a joke or remark about her ultimate opposition, Benedick.
‘Why he is the prince’s Jester’ ===============================
However she doesn’t just make jokes about Benedick, but about the whole of the living, breathing, male race. One of the main reasons that she does this is because of the absence of her father. This has opened her eyes and she is able to see the unfairness of her society. A good example of this is the scene of Hero and Claudio’s wedding. There is no question that Claudio is lying or may be wrong about Hero, and even Hero’s father sides with him.
In the play the audience is also told in so many words that there has once been some kind of relationship between Beatrice and Benedick. This is also a motive for the two to fight like cat and dog, and to make those bad jokes about each other, that the audience has come to know and love.
It would not be possible to describe the character of Beatrice in three or four words, however, sarcastic, confident and fiery are a good start.
When she is constantly reminding the audience of how she dislikes Benedick, the hope of a new love is on the horizon. In the first dance scene,
Read an in-depth analysis of Beatrice.
Read an in-depth analysis of Benedick.
Claudio - A young soldier who has won great acclaim fighting under Don Pedro during the recent wars. Claudio falls in love with Hero upon his return to Messina. His unfortunately suspicious nature makes him quick to believe evil rumors and hasty to despair and take revenge.
Hero - The beautiful young daughter of Leonato and the cousin of Beatrice. Hero is lovely, gentle, and kind. She falls in love with Claudio when he falls for her, but when Don John slanders her and Claudio rashly takes revenge, she suffers terribly.
Read an in-depth analysis of Don Pedro.
Leonato - A respected, well-to-do, elderly noble at whose home, in Messina, Italy, the action is set. Leonato is the father of Hero and the uncle of Beatrice. As governor of Messina, he is second in social power only to Don Pedro.
Margaret - Hero’s serving woman, who unwittingly helps Borachio and Don John deceive Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful. Unlike Ursula, Hero’s other lady-in-waiting, Margaret is lower class. Though she is honest, she does have some dealings with the villainous world of Don John: her lover is the mistrustful and easily bribed Borachio. Also unlike Ursula, Margaret loves to break decorum, especially with bawdy jokes and teases.
Borachio - An associate of Don John. Borachio is the lover of Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. He conspires with Don John to trick Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio. His name means “drunkard” in Italian, which might serve as a subtle direction to the actor playing him.
Conrad - One of Don John’s more intimate associates, entirely devoted to Don John. Several recent productions have staged Conrad as Don John’s potential male lover, possibly to intensify Don John’s feelings of being a social outcast and therefore motivate his desire for revenge.
Dogberry - The constable in charge of the Watch, or chief policeman, of Messina. Dogberry is very sincere and takes his job seriously, but he has a habit of using exactly the wrong word to convey his meaning. Dogberry is one of the few “middling sort,” or middle-class characters, in the play, though his desire to speak formally and elaborately like the noblemen becomes an occasion for parody.
Verges - The deputy to Dogberry, chief policeman of Messina.
Antonio - Leonato’s elderly brother and Hero's uncle. He is Beatrice’s father.
Balthasar - A waiting man in Leonato’s household and a musician. Balthasar flirts with Margaret at the masked party and helps Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro trick Benedick into falling in love with Beatrice. Balthasar sings the song, “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more” about accepting men’s infidelity as natural.
Ursula - One of Hero’s waiting women.