We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Dramatic Significance of Act 2 Scene 3 of “Much Ado About Nothing” Essay Sample

essay
  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1,115
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: play

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

Much Ado About Nothing is a typical Shakespeare comedy about the problems love can cause and how they are overcome. Throughout the play Shakespeare uses misinformation and overhearing (both fairly expected conventions in Shakespeare’s plays) as comic devices. The entire play is based around the over exploited subject of love, but uses many other Shakespearian conventions such as disguise for comic value. Shakespeare’s audiences expected such devices within plays- which sometimes aloud writers to parody themselves.

Act 2 scene 3 opens with Benedict’s soliloquy about the folly of love. The entire speech seems to be bitter in tone- and specifically about Claudio having fallen for Hero. When he sees Claudio coming he mocks him calling him “monsieur love”. He talks about how that now Claudio “dedicates his behaviours to love” he has changed from being war loving and “plain” speaking to being sentimental and soft. Benedick compares Claudio’s speech to a “fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes”. Shakespeare generally used soliloquies, as he does here, to let the audience hear what a character is thinking. Benedick shows the audience how stubborn he is, but as he has said he will never marry, by convention it is therefore the audience’s expectation that he will before the end of the play. Benedick hiding himself presents a lot of opportunity for humour in this scene. It could for example be played so Benedick could not see the other three allowing them to use body language to communicate.

When Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio and Balthasar enter there is a lot of scope for humour in the dramatic irony of the situation. I.e. that Benedick thinks they do not know where he his, while the audience no that they do. This could be used in the tone of Don Pedro’s, Leonato’s and Claudio’s voices. The lines they do not want Benedick to hear- for example “see you where Benedick hath hid himself”- could be said in a stage whisper. Also, the lines which are meant to lead Benedick on- i.e. “what was it you told me today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with signor Benedick” should be said very falsely, overacting them, and forced loud enough for Benedick to hear. This will convey to the audience the lines that are meant to be heard, and those that aren’t.

Shakespeare’s plays are often left open to interpretation from the director as he wrote very few stage directions. Apart from exits and entrances any action he

wanted Shakespeare would write it in to the dialogue. During the time they are persuading Balthasar

to sing Benedick could create some visual humour. He could fidget about – perhaps picking his teeth or preening his hair (showing how vain he is). Or maybe he could just sit and watch them with a bored expression. I would have the song sung extremely badly, and Balthasar could half dance between the others as they lie back to listen. The song is heavily ironic in the situation as it is about men being “deceivers ever”- while they themselves are tricking Benedick. During the song Benedick could exasperatedly put his head in his hands; seemingly offended at how badly it is being sung, looking up only to bitterly mutter that “had he been a dog that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him”.

At the end of the song, Benedick could get up to leave, only to fall in to the first trap set for him as Don Pedro says “What was it you told me today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick?”. There is again opportunity for humour in Benedick’s reaction. He could trip and fall, shout out and quickly cover his mouth, or he could just freeze and very slowly turn his head back. Meanwhile the others could watch to make sure he had reacted before quickly carrying on. The trick works my catching Benedick’s attention suddenly, and then drawing him in further. They then have to cover themselves by making excuses why she hasn’t “made her affection known to Benedick” to make it more believable. The trick ties in to the themes of the whole play in that the entire plot revolves around a core of misinformation and deceit.

During the trick, Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonato seem to see it as a perfect opportunity to show Benedick some of his flaws. I think this is yet another opportunity for visual humour with Benedick’s reactions. When they begin Benedick’s reactions could seem quite reasonable- accepting the criticisms. But as they continue he should become more and more indignant about the criticism. The audience will find his growing indignance funny, and somewhat ironic as this reaction as this reaction is partly what the others are criticising. Besides his indignance however, Benedick is obviously learning about himself, as until he recognises them, he cannot love. This is shown in Benedick’s final soliloquy that, as apposed to where Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio speak in verse, he speaks in prose. Shakespeare often showed simpler, straighter thinking characters by writing their lines in prose not verse.

In Benedick’s second soliloquy it becomes evident to the audience he has fallen for the trick hook line and sinker. I think it could be played with amazement but, despite what he has heard, still showing some of the arrogance criticised of. However he could hastily lose this arrogance when he says, “they say I shall bear myself proudly” as if to deny them the satisfaction of being right. There is again irony in this soliloquy as Benedick, listing Beatrice’s loveable qualities, lists the exact same qualities he claimed immunity to in his first soliloquy. Throughout the speech he seems to be trying to justify his feelings for Beatrice. He even goes so far as to say “The world must be peopled” as though he were doing the world a favour. He also tries to void his previous declaration that he would die a bachelor by saying he did not think he would “live till I were married”.

At Beatrice’s entrance, I think Benedick hastily trying to look mildly seductive could create some visual humour. This would create the dramatic irony that while Beatrice is completely bemused by his behaviour, the audience would understand what he doing. Shakespearean audiences would generally expect some visual humour in his comedies. For example, there is often a dog sequence to provide some slapstick in Shakespeare’s comedies.

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan

We can write a custom essay on

The Dramatic Significance of Act 2 Scene 3 of R ...

According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Raisin In The Sun

In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry, influence and interference plays a role in everyday life. The Younger family occupies a small living space in a boarding house, they are always together. Mama is an influence yet interference to the family. The characters that feel this way is Walter, Beaneatha, and Ruth. Without Mama the Younger family would get nowhere in life. Although Mama did not tell Walter to buy the liquor store, she was an influence by giving him money to spend on what he wants. Mama stated, "Monday morning I want you to take this money and take three thousand dollars and put it in a savings account for Beneatha's schooling. The rest you put in a checking account - with your name on it. And from now on any penny that come out of it is for you to look after" (106)....

"A Jury of Her Peers" Case

Adapted from Susan Glaspell's popular one-act play, Trifles (1920), "A Jury of Her Peers" is about sisterhood. Women's roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers do not make them totally passive, unintelligent, or subordinate to men. Mrs. Peters, for example, being small, thin, and soft-spoken, did not strike Martha Hale as a sheriff's wife when they first met; however, Mrs. Peters reveals her inner strength in defying her husband by suppressing evidence that would surely convict Minnie Wright of murder. Because they understand how John's killing the canary must have been the last straw in killing his wife's love of life, Martha and Mrs. Peters "knot" the criminal investigation. They shift their loyalty from their husbands, and the male-dominated legal system, to a woman who mirrors their own lives. As Martha wistfully says of her regret in abandoning her neighbor Minnie, "We live close together, and we live far apart. We...

Shakespeare’s Moral Play

Morality is a precise system of values regarding the distribution between right and wrong or good or bad behavior. Macbeth morality of an action is committing the evil deed, he deliberately thinks the treacherous nature. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the moral of a play is identified through personal ambition and its disastrous results. Macbeth ends up killing his loyal King believing the witches prophecy. He kills his only best friend, assuming that his best friend might have been suspicious of King Murder. First, Macbeth moral of action in the play is shown through the death of King of Scotland. The significance of the quote shows that he knows that he is wrong and not moral. He is repenting to be forgiven once more. Then he had to choose a side is right or wrong but instead, he chooses wrong by killing his loyal King of Scotland. Macbeth is a dissent man;...

Popular Essays

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?