Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Act III, Scene 1
Hero has lain a similar trap for Beatrice, assisted by her maid, Ursula. Beatrice overhears a conversation wherein Hero and Ursula reveal that Benedick is in love with Beatrice and is even pining for her. Beatrice regrets her previous attitude towards him and decides to reciprocate his feelings.
The ironic comedy played on Benedick in the previous scene is repeated here on Beatrice. Shakespeare ensures audience participation in the plot enacted by Hero and Ursula, while Beatrice is unaware of it. By indulging in the pretense that Beatrice is too scornful to accept Benedick, who is presented as both wise and noble, they produce the intended reverse effect. Beatrice decides she is in love with Benedick. Appearance and reality are constantly juggled to produce the desired effect. This appears to be the stock theme in most of Shakespeare's comedies.