Scene I of Much Ado About Nothing Act IV scene i is a turning point for Beatrice and Bene*censored*.
At the beginning of the play they both pronounce their desire to never marry. However, at this point in the play the two say that they are in love, when unbeknownst to them they have been tricked into loving each other.The scene after the wedding in Act IV scene i is the first one where the two have been alone together since they have both heard their friends talking.
The turning point comes when Bene*censored* decides to stay with Beatrice who is helping Hero, instead of leaving with the other men. In this scene we begin to see how Bene*censored* has begun to shift his loyalties from Claudio to Beatrice. When Bene*censored* pronounces his love to Beatrice by saying “By this hand, I love thee” (324-325) she responds by telling him that he should use his hand for something other than swearing his love; he should use it to kill Claudio for believing the lies about Hero and leaving her at the altar.The sharp contrast between Hero and Beatrice is what sets this scene into motion. Hero is a meek woman who does not challenge the rules of society. Beatrice knows that the way that women are treated is wrong and she does what she can about it, such as using her words. However, she needs Bene*censored*s’ help in order to achieve her plan of getting revenge on Claudio for Hero.
Throughout this play Beatrice keeps saying what she would do if she were a man. In this scene Beatrice asks Bene*censored* to kill Claudio because he is a man. She may love him, but at this point she is only trying to persuade him to help her, she is not thinking about her love for him.
The way that this scene is set up gives Beatrice the upper hand, because she knows what she wants (Bene*censored* to kill Claudio) and what she feels (perhaps the beginning of a love for Bene*censored*, but more likely, a strong desire for revenge). The fact that Beatrice is in control in of this situation is ironic because the man is the one who would usually be in control of any situation of that time. However, Beatrice is using her only weapon, words, to persuade Bene*censored* to help her, it is giving the illusion that she has more power than she truly does.
When Bene*censored* agrees to challenge Claudio, Beatrice achieves a small victory. She has used her weapon (her words) to the best of her ability and she has won. It is at this point that Beatrice allows herself to show her feelings for Bene*censored*.
While it might be true that Beatrice and Bene*censored* do have feelings for each other that were prodded by their friends, they must have had these feelings for a while in order to show them. Bene*censored* was afraid of rejection and the stories that he heard his friends tell gave Bene*censored* enough courage to take the next step and show his love for Beatrice. Beatrice, however, is testing Bene*censored* in this scene to see if he loves her enough to get revenge on Claudio that she feels that Hero deserves. It is only once Bene*censored* agrees to help Beatrice that she shows Bene*censored* that she does have feelings for him.Bibliography: