This blog entry is in regards to the play that we have been discussing in class, Much Ado About Nothing.
In the play Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio after Claudio has slandered Hero's name publicly and refused to marry her.
The meeting that takes place between Beatrice and Benedick is a test of their love because Beatrice tells Benedick that he can prove his love for her by accomplishing this task. She wishes that Claudio would pay for what he has done to Hero. It is a form of justice for Beatrice.
However, since Claudio is his friend, Benedick says no at first. In a sense, Beatrice risks loosing Benedick if he does not accept the challenge. Because since it is a test of their love he can walk out on their relationship. Also he could be killed in the challenge if Claudio wins, so it's a 50/50 chance that she could end up happy that Claudio is dead or sad that Claudio is triumphant and her man is dead.
When I read the act in the play when Beatrice says it is a man's job but not Benedick's, I think that the reason why it wouldn't be his job is because of the close ties they have as friends. Beatrice herself knows that it is alot to ask that Benedick kill his own friend for the honor of her cousin. I also believe that it may just be another sign that she believes the men are not acting honorably, including Benedick since he too is a man and he has said no to doing such a deed.
Now as far as Benedick's risks and gains, I feel that Benedick risks loosing his friend since Claudio and him have been close for some time. He may also risk loosing such high regard with Don Pedro and their court because Don Pedro is on Claudio's side. They were both together and saw the same thing when Borrachio was saying Hero's name. Therefore Don Pedro also feels Hero has been unladylike and Benedick can gain another enemy if he does kill Claudio. Benedick if he does succeed with the challenge gains Beatrice's love and respect again since this would prove that he loves her, he would have her at his feet. Anything that he could possibly ask of her she would have to do because she would be in his debt.
In my opinion I don't think that Benedick should kill Claudio. The reason why I don't think it should be done is because Beatrice also knows the plan between Leonato and the Friar. The death and rebirth of new life and recognition of the innocence of the death would backfire since the plan is so Hero still gets her man. I think that not only would Benedick pay for it, Beatrice would also because even though Claudio slandered Hero's name she still wants to be married to him. Leonato as well wants the marriage to take place and if Claudio is killed the plan would be ruined.
If Benedict did kill Claudio, I have a feeling that he would no longer be himself and that his feelings for Beatrice would turn into some form of resentment towards her. He would have done it to prove his love for her but then at the end be unsatisfied with her love because he had to do a difficult task of killing his friend. I think the relationship would suffer completely, only driving them farther apart. When it comes to friendships between males, women shouldn't get involved because in the end they will be blamed for making the men choose either their friends or them. The women may win but the men will never get over it. Thus creating a deeper void in their relationships.