Much Ado About Nothing Benedick Character Analysis

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The idea of love is often thrust into the spotlight in many works of literature. The idea of love itself is challenged and can inspire major character change. In William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing Benedick forfeits his previous identity to marry Beatrice, showing how men appear to feel about love is not necessarily the same as their true thoughts.

In the early parts of the play, Benedick’s identity is one of a soldier, which influences his views on love. Just returning from war, he still has his warrior mindset. He stays adamant throughout this part that marriage is a foolish arrangement that changes men for the worst. He states, “The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull’s horns and set
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Evidence of this is in Benedick’s friend group and how it changes throughout the play. At the beginning, Benedick associates himself with his war friends, poking fun at them and discussing his opinions on how outrageous marriage is. This is due to Benedick’s identity of a soldier at the time. He feels if he associates himself with respectable men that will play to his own reputation. However, after his sacrifice, leaving that identity behind, Benedick changes his social circle, ditching those men and allowing his judgment to direct him to people of good character and continuing his love for Beatrice. A perfect example of this is seen in Act V, where after a conversation with Don Pedro, who used to be a good friend of Benedick’s, Benedick firmly states, “My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your company.” This is a visible change in Benedick’s identity. Becoming more of a lover he has grown to value people’s character, which opens his eyes to his friend's true personalities. As Benedick matures he sheds his old social identity and molds into his new social identity, however many of his values stay stagnant. Sacrificing his identity allows Benedick to make the mature change in his social circle to further solidify his new
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