Much Ado About Nothing
How we cite our quotes:
O god of love! I know he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But Nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprizing what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly that to her
All matter else seems weak. She cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared. (3.1.47)
Hero suggests that Beatrice’s pride gets in the way of valuing her suitors at their true worth. This is, again, ironic, as Beatrice is generally such an accurate observer of people and emotions. Perhaps this love-stuff is too close to her nose (and her heart) for comfort.
What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand. (3.1.107)
Up to now, we could’ve believed that Beatrice loved Benedick and just wouldn’t admit it. However, what moves Beatrice about the "secret" conversation she’s just heard is the accusation that she’s scornful and prideful. Her pride is hurt at being called prideful (just like Benedick). Beatrice’s pride moves her more than any latent love for Benedick; she’s humbly willing to attempt to improve herself, which is way more cool than changing herself for a guy.
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it more be gracious. (4.1.105)
Claudio isn’t only disgusted by the acts he thinks Hero has committed, but it’s clear he thinks that his own pride is wounded by almost marrying such a woman. He feels he’s been deceived about love in general, and this (perhaps more than her betrayal) is what wounds him. These words are particularly important, as they are his parting comments before leaving Hero for dead.