Thursday, 4 August 2011

Task 2 - Act 2 questions 1-10

1. What are Beatrice's reasons for not wanting to have anything to do with men?
Beatrice says in lines 26-31, that he who has a beard, is too old. But he with no beard, is too young. If he's too old, he's not for me, if he's too young, I am not for him. She also says in lines 43-45, that 'Not till god makes men of some other metal than earth...' would she marry him.
These kind of excuses are shallow, ridiculous, and quite impossible.

2. What are Leonato's instructions to his daughter, Hero, and what do these show about about traditional attitudes. 
Leonato suggests and encourages Hero to marry Don Pedro, who, according to Antonio, plans on marrying the governor's daughter. This suggests, about traditional attitudes, that marriage was based not on love, but instead on money and wealth. Women were expected, not to marry the man they loved, but the man with the most riches.

3. According to the stage directions for the dance, Don John is not masked during the revels. Why?
Don John is not masked during the ball, and does not participate, because it symbolises his isolation from the rest of the characters. By having him acting differently from everyone else, a sense of rebellion is created by Don John.

4. Do you think Beatrice and Benedick know each other when they speak behind the masks. Why or why not?
They do. They take advantage of supposedly having their identity masked, to bicker and make fun of eachother. Beatrice would not have been so disdainful and hurtful had she known that it wasn't Benedick. An example of this hatred is '...he is the prince's jester, a very dull fool...'

5. Why does Don John pretend that he does not recognise Claudio?
Because Don John wanted to pretend that he thought he was speaking to Benedick, when he was actually speaking to Claudio. Claudio would know that Don John could tell apart Benedick and Claudio, so if Claudio was allowed to know that the man talking to him was Don John, the trick would not work.

6. How does Benedick feel about his conversation with Beatrice?
Benedick is both surprised and insulted by the demeaning and rude comments made by Beatrice. After Claudio leaves him in dismay, he is in awe about comments about him, such as ' the prince's fool!', in response to her calling him that. He is also in shock because Beatrice didn't seem to know who he was, yet insulted him as if he was there. He then says '...I'll be revenged as I may.' (I will get revenge).

7. What does Beatrice mean when she says “once before he [Benedick] won it [my heart] of me with false dice”? 
Beatrice means that Benedick has once before won her love. This means that at some stage they were in love with each other. She goes on to say that he won her love with false dice. This means that Beatrice did not realise how Benedick really was and believed that he cheater her by not showing his true face.

8. Why is Claudio unable to speak when Don Pedro tells him that Lady Hero is his?
Claudio is unable to speak because he is overwhelmed with joy. He is also struck with surprise as he believed that Don Pedro was wooing Hero for himself. The quote “Silence is the perfectest herald of joy” (Act 2, Scene 1, 232) demonstrates this point as he says that silence is the perfect announcement of joy. He also goes on to say that he cannot find the words to express his joy.

9.Why does Don Pedros plan work so well?

Don Pedros plan works so well because we have been given the idea that Beatrice and Benedick have been together in the past. He also uses Leonato in his plan, which makes Benedick think that it must be true.

10.How does Benedick Rationalize himself into loving Beatrice?
Benedick tries to find an explanation of her love inside everything she says turning it into something nice towards him. He looks for any small reason that he should be with her (ie. “No, the world must be peopled”) He talks about the fact that people were put into this world to reproduce. Benedick talks himself into loving Beatrice. 

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