Beatrice like a comfortable flow for these two characters.

            Beatrice and Benedick are two of the most critical people
in this play, and they hold many of the comedic points. Also, their idealistic
love is what makes the play so successful even though they aren’t the main
characters. As we know him, Benedick is a stubborn male figure who is against
unrequited love at the beginning of the play. He never listens to other
people’s suggestions or conversations and always ends in a “Jades
Trick” quoting Beatrice in Act one. Thinking marriage will ruin the
quality of a man’s life; this is why Benedick is against the thought or breath
of marriage. Beatrice has a similar view towards the marriage life as well; her
character is a soft-hearted lady but does not show this type of demeanor at all
towards others. During Act One Scene one there is an exchange between Benedick
and Beatrice. There is a Back-and-Forth dialogue between the two characters
exchanging witty insults and insulting one another. There is no logical reason
for this exchange between the two characters, but it shows there might be a
small history between them or a spark that the readers might not know about.
Beatrice uses her linguistic weapon every chance she gets to insult or demine
Benedick, directing his word toward him like a knife. But somehow it is
possible and almost comfortable for them to be witty towards one another during
this exchange. Even though it is tough to turn someone’s words and phrases
against them in the blink of an eye, it just seemed like a comfortable flow for
these two characters.

            The characters throughout the play have very similar
views toward one another, even though we see an intense hatred. They have the
same views on marriage, and on love itself making their beliefs the same. To
them, marriage is just worries mixed with a lot of troubles, which is a very
weird and bizarre thought for this time period learning women are “Married
or To Be Married.” Making the situation even more curious because
everything seems to change during the characters ease dropping session on their
friends. Benedick gets tricked by Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonato purposely
letting him spy on their conversation about how much Beatrice loves Benedick,
apparently, it’s all a cover-up and lie. Leonato is confirming the plan by
saying that everything the men say is true as Benedick listens. There openly
acceptance of love for each other here shows how a past spark had to be there
to affirm this. In this scene, as the men leave for dinner, Benedick starts his
love speech for Beatrice. At this moment during the play we get to here
Benedick’s true feelings for Beatrice, becoming the most thrilling moment and
the one we as the readers were waiting for the entire play. After all the
hidden background and deception between them that we don’t know this moment is
a focal point for these two characters.

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Unfriendliness we see between Benedick and Beatrice at the beginning of the
play shows that they have had a past relationship somewhere before this play
some kind of ghost connection that the readers just have to imagine. Otherwise,
this play would have many unanswered questions and wonders on why Shakespeare
unfolded them this way. Shakespeare only gives the audience a faint hint that
Benedict and Beatrice have known each other in their past. During Act One Scene
One “You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.” This
Signifying that she must have known him in the past very well. But what
happened to make them separate or their relationship come to an end to present
this sort of hatred toward one another?

             So, to begin my
research I decide to start with the wooing of this period that took place.
Realizing that Beatrice is an anomaly during this play having no parents and
living with her uncle, she automatically goes against the social norms of this
time period. She falls outside of the regular traditions like we see in Hero’s
character even though the Misogynistic space is very strong in this play.
Beatrice gives off a more experienced character in love and a stronger
personality by showing off her female power with Benedick at the beginning.  So that made me think that maybe something in
the wooing technique could’ve made this tension between them creating the
current situation. The wooing during this time is not like the traditional
methods we use today. Of course, we see the use of letters and poetry to
portray their feelings like in Much Ado but Elizabethan times were very much
different than the way Shakespeare portrays love for Benedick and Beatrice.
During this period Elizabethan marriages were all about politics and gaining a
higher power, not really about the concept of love. Matrimony was not the
conducted by the future couple but in the end, they had to fully come to accept
the mutual alliance. The final choice was by far more than the acceptance of
the coupled and family but the whole community was structured on stable
communities and households. The Father was the one that went on the search for
the future bride’s partner them having no say in who their mate is treating the
daughter as an object or tool. The fathers also were the ones to walk the
daughters down the aisle, hence some of the reason Beatrice falls away from the
social code. Throughout this period money, social class and alliance governed
and regulated this system. Marriage in the European pattern was differed to ten
years or more after puberty usually and this occurred from the top of the
social scale all the way down to the bottom. Also among the genders the women’s
average age for first getting married was around the age of mid-twenties while
the men during this period were just a few years older. A wide range of
practices and legal actions were put together to support the ideas of late
marriages during this time. By 1604 a Canon law was placed to forbid any priest
to wed anyone under the age of twenty-one without the parents’ consent to this
action or face suspension. The process of waiting to be wed was too much for
some so the “Fleet Marriages started to take place”. It was named
this because of the Fleet Prison in London offered this action. As a prison it
called itself free of the independent of the church marriage strictures and
these rapid marriages could legally be carried out. Because for a couple to be
wed in Shakespeare’s England first you had to have the blessing of the church
followed either by obtaining a license which took a month to be accepted or by
announcing the couple’s names and intent three consecutive Sundays. Englishman
also in this period were obsessed about the continuation of family and
bloodlines. The pride of a long ancestry and family was a sort of pride, making
a man’s social identity. To a man a women’s Chasity was important showing a
women’s social value. It was believed that men had to control a women’s
lascivious behavior to preserve this Chasity. The female’s sexuality and the
male’s regulation over this provided the understood reproductive process of
this time. 1,2

of my theories about Benedick and Beatrice, in their unique past relationship,
is where Beatrice has no parents and the only lineage she has is her Uncle and
Hero. This might explain how she fell outside of this norm, making it difficult
for her to have a social standing among the other people in her society.  Considering this during these times the
father deals with most of the relationship choosing for the daughter and
Beatrice doesn’t have this. But since Shakespeare moves past a lot of these
social norms and challenges them within his plays I think this missing part we
don’t know goes deeper emotionally. I think the two have fallen in love before
both bearing scars from this. But I also believe this has something to do with
the fact when Benedict went to war.  So,
I continued my research deeper by looking for in context clues and languages
used within the play. I think that Shakespeare wanted us to acknowledge there
was a pre-history to this mysterious love, as a lady, Beatrice is fully
prepared for a relationship with Benedick. While Benedick wholeheartedly
pledged his love for Beatrice, and she was fully ready to return his emotions
in return. However, Benedick was not prepared for a relationship, thus leaving
and going to war leaving Beatrice in emotional confusion. This is why she grew
cautious of men in general and opposed the opposite sex.

             The primary
evidence I have gained was at the beginning of the play when Benedick returns
home from the war, Beatrice asks the Messenger, “I pray you, is Signor
Montanto returned from the war, or no? (1.1.25-26)” Signor Montanto is a
reference she uses for Benedick himself. In the Oxford English Dictionary, it
explains that Montanto means, “Montant” in English and its definition
means, “and upward blow, thrust or direct cut upwards.” So, the way
Montant is said, I presume that Beatrice sees Benedick as a manly macho man
that is proud and joyful of dealing blows to others. Whether it be on the
battlefield of war or in his dealing with the matters of the heart and women.
It is what she says within the next few lines that give us a connection between
this also. “He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at
the flight; and my uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid
and challenged him at the bird-bolt (1.1.32-37).” I took these words as Benedick
using bills to let everyone know he is ready to challenge Cupid in a contest of
arrow versus arrow. Challenging Cupid to a fight shooting long distance arrows;
I think Beatrice here wants us to believe that Benedick is using his ego here
to claim he can shoot better than Cupid as Military macho man. He is more
capable than Cupid himself to wound any women to fall in love with him, even
Beatrice herself in this case. 3,4, and 5

             Beatrice then uses
the comeback by saying my “uncle’s fool” accepted the challenge. In
return, Benedick challenging this Bird Bolt gives some in context clues by
using specific languages, but here I think when she says the “uncle’s
fool” she is referring to herself in this context. Because her uncle is
taking care of her and Beatrice believes she did act foolishly with Cupid’s
arrow once at the same time. I think Beatrice as a woman here, supports Cupid
in this way because he uses a less macho weapon than Benedick himself. A
“bird-bolt” according to the Oxford English Dictionary it states that
this is a blunt wooden object used during the middle English. So, I think
Beatrice here is implying that she has caused injury to herself by saying
Benedick wounded her more than she injured Benedick in this situation. She
probably feels it might not have even hurt him at all, but in these sentences
and wordplay, Beatrice cleverly explains it all. Indirectly here she implies to
the readers in this play that once Benedick at some point has made Beatrice
knowledgeable about love, while Beatrice herself could not influence the same
effect on Benedicks’ heart. 3,4, and 5

             A little later
Beatrice says `Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn
brother. (1.1 57-58)” The men in this society have their own misogynistic
space, brothers in arms in this case. The men stick together, and if it comes
down to it, loyalty among men is stronger than a womans. I think Beatrice here
is suggesting in her eyes Benedick is a disloyal person because he has
abandoned her in the past for the war and male companions. Beatrice here seems
to be speaking of a self-involvement or someone who has experienced this before
from Benedick. Maybe after pledging loyalty to her after he was disloyal in
some way, had a change of heart, or cold feet decided to withdraw his contract.
Seeking out male companionship to fill what he had run away from in
Beatrice.  Leaving Beatrice with a strong
hatred of all men and love until (1.1.107-108), were Beatrice says to Benedick
this phrase: “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he
loves me.” If a dog barks at you in any way, you will know where to stand,
but if a man declares his love for you, he will let you down. Beatrice a little
later goes into further detail of this while further arguing with Benedict
during act one. “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so
good a continuer. But keep your way, o’ God’s name. I have done (1.1
115-117).” Beatrice retorting later ‘You always end with a jade’s trick. I
know you of old’ (1.1 118). Beatrice here is referring back to the earlier
pre-history contact they both have shared. ‘You always end with a jade’s
trick’? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Jade is a bad-tempered
disreputable woman or an old or worn-out horse. Saying this is like insinuating
Benedick is a jade’s trick, a stubborn horse and ill-tempered at that. Beatrice
apparently reminds Benedick that at a former time during their lives he refused
a promise when at the time he needed to do this the most. Having this
suggestion here is another way to show what Benedick did in the past.
Indicating he had led her on to trust him that he wanted a real relationship,
later withdrawing when it came time and hurting her dearly only to preserve his
freedom. 3,4, and 5

             During this
passage, “Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while, and I gave him use for
it, a double heart for his single one. Marry, once before he won it of me with
false dice. Therefore, your grace may well say I have lost it (2.1
242-245)”, Beatrice goes on to say just how Benedick gave her his heart
only to take it back again. The readers are becoming aware that he seemed to
renounce his love for her. The double heart is a reference to at a point the
two characters held each other’s love but he won her heart with false dice or
fake pretenses. So, Benedick in his own kept his heart and hers because she
loved him even though he pretended to like her. Unlike Benedick, her intentions
were true leaving her unable to take back her own heart. 3,4, and 5

             If you look at the
emotional speech in context by Beatrice, Shakespeare by suggestion makes a
heart-wrenching background for these two outstanding characters. It gives the
readers an insightful look at the mindset of young men and women in love for
this period. Benedick imagined, or pretended, that he was more than ready for a
romantic relationship, but in the change of events, before the beginning of the
play we know wanted to maintain his individuality and misogynistic space.
Unlike Beatrice who was fully committed to the idea of love and promising
herself to him, but could not distance herself from Benedick. There is a
transformation in both of the characters, Benedick by retreating from the
relationship taking a well-intended step towards independence. While Beatrice
repressed the anger, and let time stand still not moving on after the hurt she
withstood. Of course, in the play, we later see that Benedick yet has a love
for Beatrice, which is a comfort to the readers of this play. Them coming back
together even though they have had a complicated relationship throughout the
story. At least we get to see Benedick moving away from the male space created
to Beatrice’s feminine one, re-stitching the shattered pieces he left behind
once before.  3,4, and 5