Beatrice's Character- Much Ado about Nothing

Some notes on Beatrice's character in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

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Beatrice- Character
Beatrice's attitude throughout this play seems to be very variable. She has four main
changes in her attitude. The first one comes right at the start when she is talking about men.
She is a woman against marriage completely and believes that it is a waste of time and not
essential in life. She Is a women who constantly undermines Benedick and mocks him
constantly using barbed words. She is very unlike a stereotypical woman and seems to be
very combative with her expressions towards Benedick and loves a verbal war. An example of
this is when she says in the first scene "I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the
wars, or no?" In this quote she is making jests at his reputation of being a womaniser.
Another quote is later in the scene when she calls him a "pernicious suitor" calling him a
harmful man. She also refers to him as the "plague" referring to him as a disease; saying that
whoever catches him (becomes friends with him) is going to be followed by something bad
like the plague. This shows how much of a lowly opinion she has of Benedick that she would
refer to him as something as low as the plague.
Her attitude changes later on in the book when she has been tricked into believing that
Benedick loves her, Beatrice's attitude completely changes and she becomes less combative
towards Benedick and mellows down, she falls in love with him again almost instantly,
previous indications in the play were that she had in fact had a previous relationship with
Benedick. For example when she hears Hero and Ursula talking about Benedick loving her and
after they have left, she speaks very poetically and indicates a "holy band" of love. She also
says "taming...hand" which shows her as poetic and her imagery is slightly animalistic in this
The way, in which she speaks changes again in another defining moment, this is when Hero
was slandered by Claudio she shows a darker side to her character by asking Benedick to kill
Claudio, saying that she really wishes she was a man so that she could kill Claudio herself "It
is a man's office". In this scene she is also very forceful with her words and uses very strong
war like words such as "enemy" and saying things like "fight with mine enemy" which is very
war-like. She also says that "O that I were a man" wishing she was a man so she could hurt
The last time in which she changes her attitude is when she declares her love publicly for
Benedick she is a bit more carefree and is still jesting towards him but without a combative
nature, this is light hearted banter towards Benedick and not insults. "I would not deny you;
but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion and partly to save your life" she is
mocking and saying she is only marrying Benedick to save his life as he would `die without


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