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A Feminist Approach to Much Ado About Nothing

            Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing," by William Shakespeare, is unlike any other women in the play, especially Hero. Unlike Hero, who obeys the sexist laws of society, Beatrice is witty, outspoken, and sarcastic. Despite living in a time period ruled by men, she refuses to fall into the norm of society. Marriage defined social class for women during this time, so it was important for girls to get married so they could have an acceptable life. Beatrice hated that marriage defined a woman, which made her stand out among the other women in the play. Beatrice's character symbolizes independence and courage that women of this time lacked. .
             Although Beatrice's boldness is what makes her stand out the most, some people may portray her as a bitch. She can be stereotyped this because she is a women that is very dramatic and is not afraid to speak her mind. Beatrice uses her sarcastic and dramatic behavior to define herself in society but is also perceived negatively by many for this reason because she is passionate about her views and not afraid to stand her ground. Leonato even tells her "By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue" (2.1.16-17). Beatrice knows that she is happy without a husband and tells Leonato that she refuses to get married "till God make men of some other metal than earth" (2.1.59-60): This is an extremely bold statement for a women in this time period. Her assertiveness .
             draws the attention of many feminists today, and they view her as a strong woman. Shakespeare allows Beatrice to be so outspoken to show how few women were like her. Many Shakespearian women are quiet and go along with whatever their husbands want, but not Beatrice. She is aware that marriage brings many risks with it, and doesn't want to be bossed around by a man for the rest of her life: "Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust?" (2.

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