Table of contents
- Claudio & Hero
- Beatrice and Benedick
- Beatrice, Hero & Leonato
The plot of Shakespeare’s acclaimed work of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ demonstrates that love blossoms in many ways. Despite how superficial or affectionate these relationships appear, some recipients are manipulated into loving one another, whilst others are struck with love at first sight. Though these receivers of affection achieve their so called “Happily Ever After” in the end, this does not mean that the process was smooth. As Shakespeare said best, “The course of true love never did run smooth.' This can be supported by the relationships of Beatrice and Benedick, Hero and Claudio, and Hero and her father, Leonato and Beatrice.
Claudio & Hero
Claudio and Hero’s representation of love can be interpreted as superficial, as Claudio falls under the trance of ‘Love at First Sight,’ when he first sets his eyes upon the daughter of Leonato. This is confirmed when he says, “In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on,” (Act 2 Scene 3). Hero, a fair maiden is seen as the perfect embodiment of a woman. With the essential features of being obedient, modest and beautiful, Hero fits the criteria of Claudio’s ideal depiction of a wife. Which causes him to demand Hero’s hand in marriage. The couple intended to wed on the spot, but Hero’s father convinced them otherwise. Everything was running smoothly until a problem rose to the surface, causing a rise in action. Don John, the melancholy antagonist of Claudio and Hero’s love story caught wind that they were to marry. In retaliation Don John created a meddlesome scheme to ruin the happiness of the pair, resulting in their marriage being cancelled. This scheme resulted in Hero being fashioned as something she truly was not, which caused Claudio’s opinion of her to change. This contributed a large piece to this rise in action used in the plot of their love by Shakespeare. Claudio and Hero’s relationship continued to travel down a bumpy road when it was claimed that Hero had died, this had created a climax in their relationship. A heartbroken Claudio attended the celebration of his own wedding to another woman when the truth was unveiled, that his one true love was yet alive, and they were wed. This resolved their ongoing unstable partnership and turned it into something beautiful and further proving the point that the course of true love never did run smooth.
Beatrice and Benedick
Beatrice and Benedick were bound to be enemies when Beatrice expressed her crude opinion of Benedick in a field, “O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad,” (Act 1 scene 1). This made the onlookers believe that a companionship was not possible between the two let alone a romantic relationship. Shakespeare used this statement to display the extreme dislike that Beatrice had towards Benedick. Action rose in the film when the friends of the pair planned to bring them together through pure manipulation. Fake letters were exchanged between the duo confessing their ‘Love’ for one another, but both parties were still in denial of their potential chemistry. It wasn’t until Benedick overheard his friends in the orchard speaking about Beatrice, that he realised that he was madly in love with her. He stated, 'I do spy some marks of love in her,' (Act 2 Scene 3) making this the climax of their union. Benedick had never noted his affections for Beatrice up until that moment in the film, though his sudden changed of heart may be viewed as arrogant both members of the party realised their true feeling for each other. Regardless of how erratic the path of admiration for the two appears; love was truly triumphant.
Beatrice, Hero & Leonato
With Beatrice’s parents not being present in the film, her uncle Leonato fills the role of a parental figure. Leonato’s one wish was for his daughter Hero and niece Beatrice is to marry suitable husbands. Though we find this mental outlook condescending or too traditional in today’s civilisation, this illustrated to his nearest and dearest that he cares for them very much. This type of love is often described as being protective. A rise in action is caused when it is rumoured that a noble soldier intended to take the hand of his daughter. With this, he wished upon Beatrice, “Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband,' (Act 2 Scene 1). The conflict and climax occurred when a sly Don John intentionally ruins the future nuptials with an unforgiveable lie about the purity of Hero. Leonato’s one wish is jeopardised when Hero’s fiancé is no longer willing to marry her. Leonato’s love for his daughter is proven strong when he doesn’t believe that she is impure, he and his friend devise a plan to save Hero’s innocence by faking her death. The action steadily decreases when Beatrice becomes completely smitten with another fellow soldier and is determined to join him in union. All action and conflicts are resolved at the marriage ceremony of Beatrice and her partner, where Hero is unveiled in front of her love and presented as alive and well and they too marry. On top of all that, the villain, Don John is punished for treason. With all his wishes and expectations filled Leonato’s mind can finally be put to rest. This exemplifies that no matter how tough the course of love between father and child, the bond can’t be broken.
Indeed, the course of true love never did run smooth. Whether it be the diverse romantic or loving relationships found within the Shakespearean film ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ or the differing relationships found in modern day society. No two relationships are the same and each couple experiences the unwanted trials and tribulations of affection. Sometimes these undesired problems lead to sad and unfortunate ends or enable the romantic bond to grow even stronger than before.