This play is called Much Ado About Nothing. It is written by William Shakespeare, the greatest play write in English literature. This essay will describe the relationship between Beatrice and Benedick, who are the two main characters of the play, and will focus on their relationship (lines 1-133). The play starts in Messina, Italy, in the house of Leonato who is the Governor of Messina. He lives with his daughter Hero and his niece Beatrice. A letter is brought from a messenger informing Leonato that Don Pedro, the Prince of Aragon will be arriving, accompanied by Claudio, Don John and Benedick.
Beatrice is Leonato’s niece. She is an orphan. She is a highly intelligent and independent woman and is described to be very lively. She likes arguing with Benedick, even though she is madly in love with him and hides her feelings for him and sometimes shows them by arguing and getting the better in their arguments. She is quite an overpowering character in the play as she keeps interest in others as well as herself. In the movie of Much Ado About Nothing, when Don John and his fellow companions arrive, all of Leonato’s house members and relatives run out to greet them with smiles including Beatrice which shows that she is interested in Benedick. There could be no other man in her life.
Benedick, from Padua, is also one of the main characters of this play. He is one of Don Pedro’s companions. Benedick seems quite over smart. He likes to make a fool out of people and interrupts conversations with his jokes. For example, he interrupts the conversation between Don Pedro and Leonato with a rude, joking question. He asks Leonato “Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?”. This quotation means that he asks Leonato if he was ever in doubt that he was Hero’s father. This shows Benedick’s cheeky and witty side. He too has feelings for Beatrice and likes arguing and trying to top up any of Beatrice’s comments, but fails.
Beatrice and Benedick had a relationship in the past. Beatrice’s first words in the play (lines 28-29) are “I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars, or no?”. This quotation has two meanings. The first meaning is that she is obviously talking about Signior Benedick due to the “merry war”. That means that she knows who Benedick is. She might have met him in the past. The second meaning is that she is sarcastically calling Benedick “Signior Mountanto”. Mountanto is fencing term; it implies him of being “stuck up”- someone aspiring. That definitely means that she like him. Also in the past, they were brought together by Cupid, the Greek god of love. This relationship didn’t work out though.
Beatrice and Benedick are very well acquainted and there is some sort of “history” between them. When Beatrice is asking the messenger that has Benedick returned from the wars or not, she calls him Signior Mountanto, the name which the messenger did not comprehend. Hero interrupts and tells the messenger that “My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.” This implies that Hero also knows about the merry war between Beatrice and Benedick. Leonato tells the messenger that there is “a kind of merry war” betwixt them and that “They never meet”. This means that they know each other well but generally fall out. Their passion normally shows itself in their verbal attacks upon each other.
In Scene One of Much Ado About Nothing, there is a lot of dialogue between Beatrice and Benedick. This conversation between them is really an argument. The point in which this argument begins is when Beatrice sets of the alarm by saying “I wonder that you will still be talking Signior Benedick. Nobody marks you” “Nobody marks you” means that nobody pays attention to him, he is ignored. This is classified as an insult. Benedick replies to this insult, trying to top her up with “What my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?” “Lady Disdain” shows that the “merry war” has been going on for a long time. Beatrice says (lines 121-122) “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” This shows that she is not interested in love, even though she likes him. Nearly ending the argument, Benedick calls Beatrice a “rare parrot- teacher”. A parrot is known to imitate a sound and chatter; therefore he is calling Beatrice a parrot, a rare parrot. Rare meaning unique, he might actually have said that on purpose! Benedick then in his last words insults Beatrice by saying “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue.” thus comparing Beatrice to his horse. He wishes his horse could gallop as fast as Beatrice’s tongue, meaning her chatter.
In conclusion, I think Beatrice and Benedick do relate to each other pretty well. Beatrice, being independent, wants to stay single but as the play goes on, she falls in love with Benedick, realising that he loves her too. It’s like a “Romeo and Juliet” situation. The dialogue in the first scene between Beatrice and Benedick uses similes and metaphors like “, he will had upon him like a disease.” “like a disease” is a simile. Also, they keep referring to animals in their arguments. There is an animal mentioned in nearly every comment. To finish off the argument, Beatrice says “You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.” Beatrice says that her arguments always end like this. This indicates that there were a lot of arguments in the past. All of my five points connect in some way, showing the similarities and differences between Beatrice and Benedick.