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Paper Topic:

How does Shakespeare present the differences between Claudio`s and Benedicks attitudes to woman in the play?

How does Shakespeare present the differences between Claudio`s and Benedick 's attitudes to woman in the play

Shakespeare 's comedies explore a remarkable variety of characters and interpersonal relations . The characters range from the mean and arrogant to the honourable and gentle and their nature is revealed through the attitudes towards each other . Though in the comedy Much Ado About Nothing disguise and deceit is the main theme Shakespeare also touches upon some minor aspects of the human relations . Thus in the first scene of the first act two young male characters

are discussing woman . Through a thorough choice of language Shakespeare creates a particular attitude of each of both males towards women

Thus when Benedick enters in the middle of the first scene of the first act , he refers to Beatrice as Lady Disdain (I , i , 118 , and his responses to her insults clarify his regard for her

But it is certain I am lov 'd of all ladies , only you excepted and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart , for truly I love (I , i , 124-127

Benedick 's speech anticipates his independence from emotion and affection for any woman . He calls himself a professed tyrant to their sex (I , i , 162 ) But Benedick 's singling out Beatrice for rejection has the effect of demonstrating how intrigued he is with her

When Claudio and Benedick are left alone , Benedick claims hardly to have noticed Hero Leonato 's daughter , but Claudio expresses his interest in curious terms : Can the world buy such a jewel (I , i , 181 ) Through this metaphor Shakespeare does not only points to Claudio 's admiration but rather he means that he seeks to possess her , as he does wealth . He adds : in mine eye , she is the sweetest lady that ever I look 'd on (I , i , 187-188 . Claudio judges about Hero by appearance . Shakespeare uses imagery of sight to indicate Claudio 's superficial attitude to the woman as to solely an object of beauty . We also note that to this point in the play Hero has said not a word . Thus Claudio 's affections seem based on surface values : her money and her appearance . Throughout the rest of this scene Claudio does not become more profound in his estimation of Hero . Indeed , he even asks Don Pedro : Hath Leonato any son , my lord (I , i , 293 ) The implication is whether Hero will have to share her fortune with any siblings

Benedick 's and Claudio 's attitudes to woman expressed by the words they utter openly , in fact , do not comply with reality . Shakespeare artfully disguises their true feelings and intentions behind the veil of metaphors and implicit meanings of their utterance . Thus Benedick 's pretended indifference and contempt conceals his interest in women while Claudio 's mock admiration and passion are intended to hide his selfish ends and superficiality in regard to them

Works Cited

Shakespeare , William . Much Ado about Nothing . London : Penguin , 1990...

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