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Much Ado About Nothing: “They who love believe easily in love”



So says Dumas in his brilliant novel – The Three Musketeers. I couldn't help thinking about that when I read Much Ado About Nothing. I sincerely think that it's very funny how people could do foolish things in love.

When the prince decided to deceive both Benedick and Beatrice into loving each others, he might not have thought that they were in love with each other already. But I feel that those two were already in love with each other – consciously or unconsciously.

Ladies first, that is, Beatrice. What is her first line in all the play? “Is Signior Mountanto return'd from the wars, or no?” Who is Signior Mountanto? Well, Benedick. The first thing that this lady asked, knowing that Don Pedro was coming, is about Benedick. Out of scorn? Well, may be, may be not. On Don Pedro and his friends' arrival, to whom did Beatrice speak first? Aha, Benedick! Don Pedro, Claudio and all other people didn't matter. She has a thing for Benedick. What's that thing? Enmity? I think more than that.

In the next act, Leonato was talking about Don John, which he thought so grim and melancholy. Beatrice agreed, and compared him to...no, not his brother, who was, in my opinion, a good gentleman, kind and funny, a well-balanced person. No, Beatrice instead compared him to Benedick. And then she said this line, “With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such man could win any woman in the world, - if he could get her good will.” Now I know it sounds like scorn. But it means that she doesn't at all despise the idea of Benedick as a husband.

That sentence from her resembles so much Benedick's view of her. When Claudio stated that Hero was the most beautiful thing his eyes ever looked upon, Benedick said this, “There's her cousin, an' she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of May doth the last of December.” A-ha! Conclusion: In Benedick's eyes, Beatrice is far more beautiful than Hero as much as summer is compared to winter. Of course he had to add, “if she were not possessed with a fury” to make it plain that he didn't like her. Or did he?

Well, what makes me pretty sure that it indicates that they had crush on each other is the fact that I had done the trick several times. I don't know if people in Shakespeare's time did the same, but the art of love doesn't change so much since the beginning of the world, right? 

When the prince was resolved to be a matchmaker and deceived Beatrice and Benedick into confessing their love to each other, it wasn't a Hercules' labour, at least not that hard. As quoted above, Dumas, in his romance The Three Musketeers says, “They who love believe easily in love.” Thus those two, having loved each other, in mask of scorn or in the secret corners of their mind, readily believe that the other party loved as well. Haha. That's actually funny. 

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