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Posted in Uncategorized on September 18th, 2011 by jacobmappel

Love in Much Ado About Nothing


What is most striking about the two pairs of lovers in “Much Ado About Nothing” is that while Benedick and Beatrice appear to be well-suited for each other, what makes Claudio and Hero an ideal couple remains largely outside the text.   With regard to Benedick and Beatrice, we witness their chemistry through their constant banter and bickering; we also sense they have a possible romantic history together.   Anyone watching them can immediately recognize them as a “natural” couple.  In contrast, Claudio and Hero are alleged to love each other, but the love feels generic, a quality augmented by their speechlessness.  Claudio can’t even court Hero on his own, but relies on Don Pedro to do his wooing.  In modern parlance, one might describe Claudio’s feelings for Hero as a “crush” or “puppy love.”  They are a “natural” couple in the sense that their feelings are visceral and instantaneous, rather than moored to solid intellectual or value-based proclivities.

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