Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice Character Analysis

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The Renaissance was a revolutionary time for the cultivation of the arts and science, however it was also a time when society pressured women to be the traditional seen but not heard. Women in the Renaissance time were meant to be dutiful daughters, then eventually become dutiful wives. One of the biggest sins a woman could do was dishonor the family name, may it be via adultery or other social crimes. This ideology is present in Shakespeare’s drama, Much Ado About Nothing, which centers around two main, female characters Beatrice and Hero. Both of whom are noblewomen in Renaissance Messina. Marriage in that time was not the romantic act that it is today, it was purely political and women were unable to have much of a say in it. Despite their similarities in rank and gender, Beatrice and Hero are two contrasting characters. While Hero is a submissive Renaissance woman, Beatrice is an independent woman way ahead of her time. Hero’s submissive qualities make her the ideal Renaissance woman. Even after her entire reputation has been defiled by Claudio’s false accusations at the altar, she gladly welcomes him back with open arms. At her second wedding to Claudio, she says “And when I lived, I was your other wife. / And when you loved, you were my other husband” (V.iv.61-62). This is when Claudio has been somewhat tricked into marrying Hero…show more content…
Hero is yielding and obedient to the pressure from Claudio and Leonato. However, Beatrice stands her ground for her own beliefs and refuses to allow social constructs to define her. Renaissance society forced women to be complaint and passive women; nevertheless in today’s society it is more common for people to be encouraged to ‘be themselves’ and ‘be unique’. Hence, it is always important for one to not conform to the social mold and believe in one’s own

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