Much Ado About Nothing
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.
But I hope you have no intent to turn husband, have
I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the
contrary, if Hero would be my wife. (1.1.193)
This is one of the first times that marriage is spoken of explicitly, and it’s presented as an object of unwitting deception. Claudio apparently has been as anti-marriage as Benedick, but now that he wants to marry Hero, he notes that even he can’t trust his own word. (This is a hint that he might be faithless in the process of getting married.)
Is't come to this? In faith, hath not the world one man but
he will wear his cap with suspicion? Shall I never see a
bachelor of threescore again? Go to, i' faith! An thou wilt needs
thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it and sigh away
Benedick laments that marriage turns great men into pathetic idiots.
The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear
it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them in my forehead, and
let me be vilely painted, and in such great letters as they write
'Here is good horse to hire,' let them signify under my sign
'Here you may see Benedick the married man.' (1.1.262)
Benedick equates marriage with being whipped, tamed, and cuckolded. Marrying would mean sacrificing his independence and breaking his pride, and Benedick finds the prospect of losing either foolish. It’s a strong enough intuition to sour him on marriage altogether.