Much Ado About Nothing Maturity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.
Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me.
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
As under privilege of age to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me
That I am forced to lay my reverence by,
And with grey hairs and bruise of many days
Do challenge thee to trial of a man. (5.1.65-73)
Leonato lays out the two sides of aging: On one hand, age demands respect, but on the other hand, old age also makes people weaker, which lets young punks abuse them.
We had like to have had our two noses
snapped off with two old men without teeth. (5.1.128-129)
To Leonato’s face, Claudio makes a big show of respecting his age, but it’s clear from this comment that Claudio is not exactly Mr. Reverence. Age doesn’t seem to command respect for Claudio; he approaches it more as a weakness than a reason for reverence, which is pretty immature of him. It’s another strike against Claudio’s character.
In brief, since I
do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
purpose that the world can say against it, and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said
against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my
Benedick exhibits real maturity in his thinking. Here, he admits that he might seem like a hypocrite, but has decided that his love is more important than his ideological consistency.