Presentation on theme: "Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Act II, scenes i-iii."— Presentation transcript:
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Act II, scenes i-iii
Don Pedro: “Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.” Beatrice: “Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; 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” (II.i). What does Beatrice mean when she says that Benedick only “lent” her his heart for “awhile?” When did this happen? The fact that Beatrice uses the past tense suggests that she knew Benedick before the time frame encompassed by this play. When she claims that Benedick “lent” her his heart, she may be suggesting that Benedick offered his heart to Beatrice but only for a limited amount of time. Benedick did not give Beatrice his heart to keep—only to borrow. Beatrice also says that she gave Benedick “a double heart for his single one.” What does this statement imply? If Beatrice gave him two hearts for the one that Bendick gave her—”a double heart for his single one”—then it seems that Beatrice believed that she loved Benedick twice as much as he loved her. Beatrice also says that Benedick won her heart with “false dice.” What does this metaphor (“false dice”) suggest? “False dice” are dice that are used to cheat others in a game. If Benedick used “false dice” to win Beatrice’s heart, Beatrice seems to be claiming that Benedick tricked her into loving him. Benedick was not honest.
Don Pedro: “Will you have me, lady?” Beatrice: “No. my lord, unless I might have another for working-days; your grace is too costly to wear every day. But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth and no matter” (II.i). What does Don Pedro mean when he asks, “Will you have me?” Don Pedro is asking Beatrice to marry him. Beatrice says “no,” because Don Pedro is “too costly to wear every day.” What does Beatrice mean? Hint: Would she have to change her behavior if she was going to be a prince’s wife? Explain. If Beatrice became the wife of a prince, this new role would “cost” her a great deal. The wife of a prince has to obey the rules that govern a royal household. Her behavior, as the prince’s wife, would have political ramifications. As the wife of a prince, Beatrice could no longer speak her mind. She would have to carefully measure out her every sentence and consider the possible consequences of all her utterances. Beatrice would be completely dominated by the political and social demands of her role.
Don Pedro: “Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.” Beatrice: “No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born” (II.i). Don Pedro tells Beatrice playfully that since she is so merry—so happy and playful with her speech—that she must have been born “in a merry hour.” But Beatrice says that she wasn’t. Beatrice says that her mother did what? What does this response suggest? Beatrice claims that the hour she was born was not a happy one and that her mother cried. This response suggests that her mother was in pain and probably died. Note: Beatrice’s mother does not appear in the play. In fact, both of the unmarried women in this play are without mothers to guide them. What other evidence do you have? Hint: What does it mean that a “star danced?” Beatrice says “but then”, which suggests to the reader that she is trying to mitigate the tragedy of her mother’s death. Beatrice is suggesting that there was a shooting star in the heavens that heralded (announced) her birth. Why is this information so important in helping us understand Beatrice and her feelings about men? For Beatrice, marriage equals childbirth which equals death. To be married means to be completely dominated—to the point of death. Beatrice is afraid of getting married, because she is afraid of dying.
Leonato: “Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.” Beatrice: “Not till God make them of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be over-mastered with a piece of valiant dust! to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?” (II.i). According to the story in the bible, how did God make Adam? God scooped up some earth (dirt) from the ground and blew into it. What does it mean to be “over-mastered?” It means to be dominated. What is a clod? a piece of dried mud What is a marl? a piece of dried clay So Beatrice does not want to marry, because she doesn’t want to be bossed around by….? a piece of dried mud