‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is a play which I have never studied before taking this class, and it is now, by far, my favorite comedy of Shakespeare’s. There are many aspects of the play that contribute to its humor, for example Dogberry and Verges, but I, like many others, enjoy Bendick and Beatrice’s comedic pairing the most.
From the very start we see that although they may slate and jest at each other’s expense, there is a certain chemistry between the two that leads me to believe that they would eventually end up as husband and wife.
Beatrice: I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Bendick. Nobody marks you.
Bendick: What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living?
As we know now, they do end up together, thanks to Don Pedro’s and Hero’s trickery. While the method by which they fall in love is not true, we do see how strong Benedick feels for Beatrice when he agrees to kill Claudio in revenge for breaking Hero’s heart. Or at least challenge him. When I read it first on the page, I started questioning Benedick’s sanity. Was he really going to risk it all for a woman he supposedly hated for a social convention he had just lambasted his friend for? “Enough, I am engaged. I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand and so I leave you.” It is evident from this line that the new Bendick has a, ‘Love Conquers All’ mantra. Although I questioned his motive for killing a dear friend, the next scene in which he appears made him my favourite character.
I was delighted that Benedick had found love, but the manner in which he deals with a difficult task given to him by his beloved endeared him to me even more. The line that he delivers when leaving Don Pedro and Claudio gave me chills and showed the maturity that he had developed over the course of the play. “My Lord, for your many courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your company…For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet, and till then, peace be with him.” Bendeick, Act 5, Scene 1. He grew from a childish, egotistical joker to a man with pride and principles in the face of adversity. I really enjoyed the pairing of Benedick and Beatrice and enjoyed Benedick’s character as a whole.