Don Pedro the “George Clooney” of Bachelors?

In reading about Prince Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing the question I ask myself is why Don Pedro isn’t seeking a mate for himself? He is obviously an eligible bachelor who Leonato doesn’t mind his daughter being married to “We will hold it as a dream till it appear itself. But I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her of it.” (1.2 17-20) Leonato seems giddy at the fact that Don Pedro may be interested in his daughter Hero and he tells Hero what her answer will be. Obviously Don Pedro was a suitable husband for any woman, but instead of pursing them he set them up with his friends even though he thought Hero to be “worthy.” “Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very well worthy.” (1.1 179)
Don Pedro also seemed to see through the protesting of Benedick’s claims that he won’t be tied down by any woman especially if she will make him appear weak as he perceives Claudio to now be “I will do myself the right to trust none. And the fine is for the which I may go the finer I will live a bachelor.” (1.1 200-201) Don Pedro goes on to mock Benedick that one day he will see him feel the same way Claudio does “I shall see thee ere I die look pale with love.” (1.1 202) To which Benedick rapidly responds “With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord; not with love.” (1.1 203) I just wonder why Benedick and Beatrice were so against love from the beginning? Was it the idea of giving themselves completely to another, losing some control, or the fact that they heard everyone around them professing love?
I find the banter between Beatrice and Benedick to be quite amusing. From the start it seems Shakespeare gives it away that they will end up falling in love. Even though their words can appear harsh, it reminded me of when a boy and girl first like each other. They often begin with insults which shows that they obviously have some feelings towards one another even if they can’t always distinguish what feeling it is. As they grow older it goes from “eww boys or yuck girls” to I wonder if he/she likes me? This is what I see happening with Beatrice and Benedick.
As soon as the men return from war Beatrice begins asking about Benedick “I pray you, is Signor Montano returned from wars, or no?” (1.1 25) Leonato even comments on the back and forth antics she and Benedick have “ There is a kind merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her. They never meet but there’s a skirmish of wit between them.” (1.1 49-51) I think that all the banter was simply the lust/love they had for each other. This is also evident in how quickly they each let their guard down when they heard the other loved them. Despite how Beatrice claimed she didn’t want a husband “Just if he send me no husband, for the which blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening.” (2.1 23-24) as Shakespeare stated in Hamlet “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
With all this love in the air, where is the love for Don Pedro? Is he content with watching others, or is he a happy bachelor?

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One thought on “Don Pedro the “George Clooney” of Bachelors?

  1. pamsutherland

    I think that Don Pedro is just waiting for the right woman. He shows no interest in any of the characters we see yet he is a romantic. He happily arranges tor Hero fall for Claudio; doing all the leg work of wooing her and convincing her father the marriage was a good idea. Then he arranges for Benedick and Beatrice to realize that sometimes the thing you want most is right in front of you. As we hear no complaints from him regarding his being single we can believe that he is content. Perhaps we can read into his cocky attitude – “I will fit the with thy remedy” and think that maybe he thinks Hero is too easy. Perhaps he is looking for more.
    I don’t think Benedick and Beatrice were against love but in denial. If they were against love it would have taken more to change their minds. Since it took little coaxing, it must not have been too far from already there. Like you said, they were too quick to let their guards down.

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