Hero And Beatrice Vs. Women During The Shakespearean Period

865 words - 3 pages

In William Shakespeare's play "Much Ado about Nothing" there are sharp contrasts between Hero and Beatrice in comparison to women during the Shakespearean period. Hero is the typical example of a woman during the Shakespearean period. Hero is depicted in the play as a morally upright woman of good keep, and she seem to be a very loving and warm person in comparison to her cousin Beatrice. However she is made out to be a whore by Claudio at her own expense on her wedding day. Beatrice is the heroine of the play; she possesses a quick wit and a quick tongue. Beatrice does have the same warm and loving personality as her cousin however she constantly starts "merry war" or make fun of other individuals. Beatrice is not a typical woman of the Shakespearean period; Beatrice appears to be tough and sharp however in reality she is susceptible. Beatrice is a good example of Shakespeare's well-built female characters.

During the Elizabethan period in which the play "Much ado about nothing" is written when women would have to be seen and not heard. A woman was a man property and the only way a woman had any rights were through a man, a man had to speak on behalf of a woman. Hero is a prime example of this typical depiction of a woman during the Elizabethan period. In the play "Much ado about nothing" Leonato, Hero's father and Beatrice's Uncle is the man who speaks on their behalf. When Hero and Claudio marry at the end of the play, Claudio will become the man that will speak on the behalf of Hero.

Beatrice on the other hand is a self proclaimed bachelorette and has a strong resistance to marriage. Beatrice makes sure that Benedick the man in which she will eventually marry know that she ahs a strong opposition to marriage. The reason that Beatrice is this self proclaimed bachelorette is that she strongly believes that she has yet to find the faultless partner and does not want to submit herself to a calculating and over powering husband. When Claudio maltreats Hero on her wedding day Beatrice says that, "O that I was a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! I cannot be a man with wishing; therefore I will die a woman with grieving" (IV.i.312-318).

At a time in the play "Much ado about Nothing" Claudio refers to Hero as a "jewel." With this description of Hero as a "jewel" it can be thought that Shakespeare is using Claudio to convey to the audience the beauty...

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