Much Ado About Nothing
How we cite our quotes:
Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the world but
I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a corner and cry 'Heigh-ho for
a husband!' (2.1.318)
Beatrice jokes that she is unattractive and will never get a husband. (As though this were the sole reason she is still unmarried.) It’s also interesting to note that her "Good Lord, for alliance!" mirrors Benedick’s concern that he’ll never see another old bachelor – both of them seem to be sensitive to the fact that everyone is getting married, except for them.
She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
O, by no means! She mocks all her wooers out of suit.
She were an excellent wife for Benedick. (2.1.347)
As Beatrice tosses out Don Pedro’s marriage proposal, he realizes that the girl hasn’t married because she hasn’t found her equal in mockery and wit. As he wonders who could possibly stand up to her (and maybe by doing so, win her love), Benedick comes up as a natural choice. We’ve got to wonder whether he chooses Benedick because he really believes they could fall in love, or because he’d like to put Beatrice through a little suffering for not seriously considering him as a potential husband.
No, the world
must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not
think I should live till I were married. (2.3.242)
Benedick provides his first reason that marriage is actually quite necessary. Not for love or honor, but because it’s our duty to procreate.