The Importance Of Relationships In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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The play “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare takes place in the city of Messina. It is a comedy play that mainly focuses on the love lives of two couples: a young lord from Florence named Claudio, who falls for a young woman named Hero, and a gentleman from Padua named Benedick who falls for Hero’s cousin, Beatrice. Each of the two romances is strikingly different, the first being a typical romance for the Shakespearean time period, while the second relationship is one that would be more commonly seen in today’s time. This play explores the dynamics which can make up these different types of relationships, from wit, to expectations of love and courtship.
The word “ideal” is defined by the dictionary as, “a conception of something
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Benedick tries to create the impression that he is tough and although he wishes it, he is simply incapable of loving someone when he tells Beatrice, “I would I could find in my heart that I had not a cold heart, for truly I love none.” (1.1.124-125) Beatrice mirrors his toughness facade by responding to him, “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” (1.1.129-130) It seems that they only tell each other this as if to make it clear to each other that they will never love one another. This is what makes it all the more satisfying when they are so easily deceived into falling in love with each other. For example, Benedick, upon hearing that Beatrice loves him, doubts it a bit at first, but thinks better of those he is eavesdropping on and says, “I should think this a gull but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.” (2.3.126-128) Beatrice is proven to be just as gullible as her lover. Upon overhearing that Benedick is in love with her, she says, “Can this be true?... Benedick love on; I will requite thee, taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.” (3.2.113;117-118) She also falls easily in love upon hearing only rumors which further proves how strong her hidden feelings for Benedick were. It is aesthetically pleasing to the reader to see that the bickering duo of characters who put up such a tough guard, can have it so easily knocked down by their undisclosed love for the person they claimed to hate the most. The fact that they were made so easy to be deceived only confirms the suspicions of the reader of the feelings Beatrice and Benedick were so obviously trying to hide from everyone, and especially hide from each other. This is a great deal more satisfying than Hero and Claudio’s relationship. Hero and Claudio’s romance was the typical Shakespearean romance which conformed to the social norms of
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