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How Does Shakespeare Show the Different Moods and Feelings of Beatrice and Benedick in Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene 1?

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Submitted By krishan001
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How does Shakespeare show the different moods and feelings of Beatrice and Benedick in act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 scene 1?

Shakespeare demonstrates Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as intricate and diverse so in this essay I'm going to delve into their relationship and different moods and emotions. The character of Beatrice is introduced as bright and having a Sharp-tongue in act two scene one. She is already shown sharp-witted and mocks Benedick’s uselessness as a soldier and friend. In this scene they compete to outdo each other in their ‘Merry war’ with clever jabs at each other. In this scene Shakespeare shows that they have many different emotions.

In Act two Scene one, Shakespeare expresses Beatrice’s disdainful opinion that Benedick ‘is the Prince’s Jester, a very dull fool’. By using the nouns ‘Jester’ and ‘fool’ this expresses that Beatrice does not think there is much to Benedick and that he is not very smart. The use of this language from Shakespeare presents Benedick in a negative way in the eyes of the audience. In addition, by using the adjective 'dull' Beatrice shows that she finds Benedick very boring and tedious.

Benedick is also shown as having some resentment towards Beatrice in Act two Scene one. He expresses that his ‘visor began to assume life to scold with her.’ This demonstrates that he believes an inanimate object would come to life just to tell her off. By using the verb ‘scold’ this shows that he is angry at her since ‘scold’ is a strong and powerful verb. He also feels the need to reprimand her but gets frustrated as he can not because she does not know that it is him so he implies that she was being so mean that anything would try to rebuke her.

In Act four Scene one Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship changes drastically, from Act two Scene one when they were constantly verbally abusing each other, to Act four Scene one when Benedick swears ‘by this hand that I love you’ to Beatrice as a result of the trickery plot. This shows how strongly he feels about her as earlier in the play Benedick’s character is shown as abrupt and humorous and for these feelings you wouldn’t expect him to confess his love so openly.

Furthermore then Beatrice tells benedick that ‘I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest’ here Shakespeare demonstrates that Beatrice returns Benedick’s feelings and confesses her love for him. He does this by using the noun ‘heart’ which is directly associated with love, alongside his use of hyperbole as she explains ‘none is left to protest.’ This also adds extra effect as it contradicts almost everything she has already said to Benedick.

However this heartfelt moment does not last long as she quickly remembers what is going on and is angry at Claudio. She is so angry with him that she intends to ‘kill Claudio’ however as she is a girl she asks her newfound love, Benedick, to do the deed for her. By saying ‘kill Claudio’ it shows how strongly she dislikes him at that moment. Also by using the verb ‘kill’ Shakespeare adds extra tension and effect on to it as Claudio is Benedicks best friend which shows how angry Beatrice must be to ask the love of her life to just outright murder his best friend.

Despite all of this Benedick still wants to please Beatrice as he said that he ‘will challenge him’. This really shows how much Benedick must love Beatrice to offer to ‘challenge’ his best friend just because she has asked him to. By using the word challenge it shows that he wants to please Beatrice but does not want to kill him himself. I know this as by saying challenge it shows that he is not going to go behind his back to murder him but instead he will shame him but also show his sorrow for him by letting him defend himself.

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