Higher Status In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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In his play, Much ado about nothing, William Shakespeare introduces an Elizabethan society, where status forms the main foundation. Ironically, the more status you obtain, causes a loss of identity. In a world based entirely on status, corruption and trickery are bound to occur. William Shakespeare writes that the lower status one obtains when one is born leads to more power and freedom, whereas higher status leads to a loss of identity with characters such as: Borachio, Benedick, Hero, and Don Pedro, respectively. Borachio, in Much ado about nothing, reflects a character of lower status, therefore he has the ability to act more freely. In the beginning of the play, Borachio never requires status to inform himself about how to act. At the…show more content…
In the beginning, Benedick acts like a jerk to most characters and is never straightforward towards them. He never thinks of loving others, but thinks others love him back when he says, “then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved 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 none”(1.1.13.122-125). Benedick does not require status to be happy or to love someone. He eventually finds love to Beatrice and changes personalities by the end. One of Benedick’s well known scenes is his reversal, where Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonato trick him into thinking Beatrice has feelings for him. Benedick’s character changes in the reversal when he says, “It seems her affections have their full bent. Love me? Why, it must be requited! I hear how I am censured. They say I will bear myself proudly if I perceive the love come from her”(2.3.77.225-224). He later confesses his love for Beatrice when he says, “I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?” (4.1.280-282). This is the first time Benedick shows to be straightforward and kind, rather than being mean towards another character. Love changes Benedick’s character by the end, which proves to show that one does not require high status to be happy. By the end, he defies what is expected of someone with a medium status and is the happiest character as a
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