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Quotes

Quote #4

BENEDICK
I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me because I have railed so long against marriage. But doth not the appetite alters? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. (2.3.235)

Benedick notes that people change, and uses it as a defense against his former hatred of marriage and claim that he would never have any other opinion on the matter. He’s simply changed his mind about his ability to change, which is perfectly respectable.

Quote #5

BENEDICK
Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old signior, walk
aside with me. I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak
to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear. (3.2.70)

Benedick has been transformed by love. Though he’s certainly the wittiest in his group of friends, and can usually handle as much heckling as he dishes out, he now slinks off with the gentle Leonato. Basically, in the initial stages of love, he’s become more soft, dull, and serious.

Quote #6

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don Juan, and Claudio.]
BENEDICK
How doth the lady? (4.1.112)

This is a monumental transformation for Benedick during the wedding scene where Hero has just fainted after being publicly denounced. As Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio storm out, Benedick surprisingly stays behind and even inquires after Hero. While this is an obvious indication that Benedick’s allegiances may have changed, it seems there is some deeper transformation at work (perhaps regarding his love for Beatrice, but perhaps also his sense of justice).

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