AS Level English Lang And Lit Much Ado About Nothing ACt 2

Revision notes on "Much Ado About Nothing" Act 2 for AS level English language and Literature.

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Act 2
Scene 1
Beatrice describes her ideal man, saying how opposite Don John and Benedick are to her ideal.
Leonato warns her that she will never get a husband behaving like that but Beatrice stated that she
is happy to stay single.
Beatrice mockingly advises Hero on when to obey her father on the matter of marriage.
Beatrice gives her opinion on courtships and weddings.
Don Pedro and friends enter the ball masked, as they dance, their female partners mock them.
Benedick believes his identity is hidden so teases Beatrice who recognizes him and mocks him.
Don John and Borachio inform Claudio that Don John loves Claudio and intends to marry her and
Claudio believes them. His gullibility foreshadows worse things to follow.
Benedick informs Claudio that Don Pedro had won Hero's heart and is left dwelling on Beatrice's
hurtful comments.
Benedick accuses Don Pedro of wooing Hero for himself but he is assured he the Prince had won
Hero for Claudio.
Benedick relates to his cruel treatment from Beatrice and leaves to avoid contact with her.
Beatrice hints that her and Benedick may have once loved each other.
Don Pedro informs Claudio that he has won Hero for Claudio.
Hero and Claudio are formally engaged.
Beatrice jokes she is the only one without a husband but when Don Pedro offers himself she
Hero and Claudio's marriage is arranged for one week away.
Don Pedro plans to make Benedick and Hero fall in love.
Ball is complex in structure and mood, creating an air of refined grace. The structure is dance like, with
couples forming and dispersing as social convention dictates.
It is clear Beatrice identifies more with men than Hero and warns her about marriage.
Prose changes to verse during Claudio's soliquy where he reveals his feelings. There is a semantic field of
business and connotations of spying.
A sense of disillusion is developed as the audience watch Claudio watching Don Pedro woo Hero, which
adds to the appearance of love and romance as artificial
Beatrice: `Just in the mid way between him and Benedick.' Beatrice shows her perfect man would be a
mixture of Benedick and Don John. She thinks Don John too melancholic and Benedick to talkative.
Beatrice: `God sends a curst cow short horns, but to a cow too curst he sends none.' The use of animal
imagery occurs again here, with the sexual innuendo of the horns as phallic symbols, stating that if woman
is too foul tempered she will never get a man.
Beatrice: `He that hath a beard is more than a youth and he that hath no beard is less than a man.' Beatrice
uses syntactic parallelism to explain how no man will ever be right for her.
Leonato: `Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your
answer.' Leonato asserts his authority over his daughter, showing how in Elizabethan society males believe
they have control over women. Leonato puts Hero under pressure to marry Don Pedro through imperatives.

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Don John: `Signor, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamored on Hero.' Don John, pretending
to think Claudio is Benedick, tricks him that Don Pedro has declared his love for Hero and is trying to woo
her for himself.
Claudio: `Tis' certain the Prince woos for himself, / Friendship is constant in all other things, /Save in the
office and affairs of love.' Claudio believes Don John, without questioning his accusations.…read more

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Benedick reflects on men like Claudio who say they are not going to marry but then do. He lists the
qualities he would want in a wife.
Leonato, Don John and Claudio approach and Benedick hides, they appear not to notice him.
They prepare to listen to Balthasar's singing, but Benedick is not impressed by the romantic music.
Balthesar's song is about the unpredictability of men. This melancholic singing creates a
conducive mood.…read more

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Benedick: `A man loves a meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.' Benedick is not ashamed in
admitting that he has changed his mind about marriage. He metaphorically states that as people change as
they age. There is an element of dramatic irony at how easily he has been deceived.
Beatrice: `Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.…read more


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