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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

Much Ado About Nothing Marriage Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #4

BEATRICE
Just, if He send me no husband, for the
which blessing I am at Him upon my knees every
morning and evening. Lord, I could not endure a
husband with a beard on his face. I had rather lie in 
the woolen! 
LEONATO
You may light on a husband that hath no
beard.
BEATRICE
What should I do with him? Dress him in my
apparel and make him my waiting gentlewoman?
He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he
that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is
more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less
than a man, I am not for him. (2.1.27-39)

Beatrice denounces marriage in general, but you’ll note that she goes on to point out the particular flaws of particular men. We’re left to guess whether she is against the institution of marriage in principle, or whether she’s simply convinced she’ll never find the right man. (Or is her man-bashing a consolation prize because she hasn’t found anyone yet?) Lots of possibilities, but the point is, she’s not stoked about marriage.

Quote #5

LEONATO [to Hero]
Daughter, remember what I told
you. If the Prince do solicit you in that kind, you
know your answer. (2.1.66-67)

Essentially, Leonato is saying, "You’ll know your answer because I told you your answer." Thus we add one more facet to the presentation of marriage in the play: it’s not necessarily an arrangement made out of love, but more like a transaction that can be worked upon and influenced by outside forces.

Quote #6

BENEDICK
I would not marry
her though she were endowed with all that Adam
had left him before he transgressed. (2.1.247-249)

It’s notable that Benedick brings up marrying Beatrice, though no one else has even mentioned it. Stating so passionately that it’s not on his mind shows that, actually, it’s on his mind.

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