AS Level English Lang And Lit Much Ado About Nothing ACt 1

Revision notes on "Much Ado About Nothing" Act 1 for AS level English language and Literature.

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Act 1
Scene 1
Messenger brings letter informing Leonato that Don Pedro and hi victorious army will arrive in
Messina and reports Claudio has performed great deeds of bravery
Beatrice questions messenger about Benedick with sarcasm. The messenger defends the mocking
of Benedick.
Beatrice continues to mock Benedick as Don Pedro and followers arrive, welcomed by Leonato,
Beatrice begins taunting Benedick.
Beatrice and Benedick review their merry war of wits, both wanting the last word.
Leonato invites Don Pedro and guests to stay.
Claudio reveals his love of Hero to Benedick and asks his opinion. Benedick is unimpressed with
Hero and dismayed Claudio is considering marriage.
Don Pedro returns to find out what Claudio and Benedick are discussing. Benedick reveals
Claudio's love for Hero and states he will never fall in love.
Don Pedro predicts that Benedict will fall in love.
Benedick challenges his friends to ridicule him if he ever falls in love.
Claudio confesses how much his love for Hero has grown after the war and Don Pedro offers to
help win her for Claudio by pretending to be Claudio at the masked ball.
The tone of this scene contains excitement, playfulness and positivity.
Such features are used as puns, alliteration, metaphors, paradox and antithesis.
Language is varied from courtly and artificial to blunt and coarse.
Leonato: `How much better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!' Antithesis hints at future deception.
Syntactic parallelism makes phrase memorable.
Beatrice: `I pray you is Signot Mountato returned from the wars or no?' Mocks Benedick by implying he is
all show and no substance but dramatic tension exists as she likes him really. Interrogative shows Beatrice is
a strong woman, believing she has equal status to me. Persistent questioning and urgent repetition reveals
Beatrice's intelligence and disdainful personality, unlike normal women in patriarchal society of Messina.
Beatrice: `He is a very valiant trench men, he hath an excellent stomach.' Beatrice uses a metaphor to mock
how Benedick feeds off other people's courage.
Beatrice: `No, not till a hot January'. Beatrice uses irony to show she will never fall in love.
Benedick: `What, my dear Lady Disdain!' Benedick personifies his long standing resentment of Beatrice.
Teases Beatrice about age, insignificance and scornfulness.
Beatrice: `I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.' Beatrice shows her attitude
to marriage.
Benedick: `Well, you are a rare parrot teacher.' War of wits continues using animals as extended metaphors.
This interconnected sparring shows a strong bond and explores the complex relationship of men and
Benedick: `Methinks she's too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great
praise.' Plays down Hero's beauty

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Claudio: `Can the world buy such a jewel?' Claudio reveals his admiration for Hero, but sees her as an object
and of materialistic value. Metaphorical inquisition contrasts with Benedick.
Benedick: `I will live a bachelor'. Benedick never wants to marry and is proud of being single. He is a
renowned womanizer. Foreshadows his love for Beatrice.
Don Pedro: `In time the savage Bull doth bear the yoke.' Don Pedro states how love will conquer Benedick's
stubbornness.…read more

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Don John: `I cannot hide what I am.' Don John is unhappy that he depends socially and economically on
Don Pedro and is bitter about the restrictions in his life in compared to the high life that Don Pedro lives.
Repetition of personal pronouns shows Don John is an individualist and doesn't want to rely on Don Pedro.…read more


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