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Quote #10

Well, every one can master a grief but he that has it. (3.2.28)

This seems to be Benedick’s first time being in true love, and like so many lovers before him, he’s convinced it’s a unique feeling than no one else has ever felt.

Quote #11

If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing
old signs. 'A brushes his hat o' mornings. What should that bode?
Hath any man seen him at the barber's?
No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the
old ornament of his cheek hath already stuff'd tennis balls.
Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
Nay, 'a rubs himself with civet. Can you smell him out by
That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love. (3.2.40)

This is just adorable. Ergh, we mean, this is serious evidence that even the most resistant among us can fall victim to the steel trap of love, which is full of folly. Also, in Shakespeare’s day, in order to show that a character was in love, there were certain conventional signs and costume devices the actor would wear so the audience would understand he was in love. Benedick shows up here looking prettier than usual – it’s a signal to the audience that he’s been changed by love. It’s basically the equivalent of wearing a T-shirt that says, "I’m in love" on stage.

Quote #12

It is a man's office, but not yours.
I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that
strange? (4.1.266)

Benedick’s abrupt admission that he loves Beatrice (which is way more straightforward than we would’ve expected) is prompted by Beatrice’s need…of a man to challenge Claudio. Beatrice is looking for a man to do the task, so perhaps Benedick offers his love as proof that he’d do any task for her. Either that, or he’s just awkward and has an inappropriate sense of timing.

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