Opposites Attract

In Much Ado about Nothing there are many different relationships going on between the characters. I think that the most interesting relationship is between Hero and Beatrice. This relationship was so interesting to me because Hero and Beatrice are such polar opposites. To begin with, they have very different family dynamics. Hero is the only child to Leonato, being that who she marries will be the sole inheritor of his family wealth. Leonato weighs in heavily on Hero’s life and is in control of who she marries. On the other hand we have Beatrice who is certainly more independent than Hero. Beatrice is the niece of Leonato but she has no father of her own to control her future or worry about his family’s inheritance.
Hero and Beatrice also have such different views about love. Hero is so in love with Claudio and can’t wait to marry him and spend her life to with him. Beatrice is the exact opposite. It seems that she does not believe in love for most of the play. She looks for something to be wrong in all men that try to court her. Even when Beatrice starts to fall for Benedick, she does this in a playful, sarcastic manner. Beatrice often trades wits with Benedick and makes fun of him. Beatrice also asks for a grand gesture from Benedick to prove his love, asking him to kill Claudio if he really loves her, which took guts if you ask me.
Finally, the personalities of these two women are exact opposite. Hero is very passive, quiet, and polite. An example of this is when she is accused by Claudio of sleeping with another man she quietly defends herself, but ultimately gives in. She agrees to fake her death in order for Claudio to feel sad. Finally, she still marries Claudio. I feel that Hero is completely taken advantage of in this play and instead of defending her own honor she folds and does as her father says. Beatrice on the other hand is a very strong woman. She deals with the accusations to Hero in a completely different manner. When Hero is first accused Beatrice stands up for Hero insisting she would never do such a thing. At this point she is standing up to men, which is something most women of this time would not do. Then she gives a very powerful speech to Benedick claiming if she were a man she would take care of Claudio herself. “O that I were 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” (4.1.312–318).
To conclude; Beatrice and Hero are opposites, but have a strong bond. I think it is their opposing personalities that makes them so close.


One thought on “Opposites Attract

  1. ciandalton94

    You have a really interesting point here about the most overlooked relationship in the play. We see it everyday: people who are completely different getting on as best friends. It is evident in the play and I do agree that this difference in their personalities and goals brings them closer. In the end they both find love, albeit by different means but now have a similarity bonding them. Perhaps the absence of a father figure for Beatrice and seeing how Hero is so dependent on Leonato has made Beatrice be more independent.


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