BEATRICE & BENEDICK

Paulina’s speech and analysis.

Much Ado About Nothing | Act 4, Scene 1 | 254-326

Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

Source
RSC | Jonathan Bate & Eric Rasmussen. London: RSC Shakespeare, 2009

Exeunt all but BENEDICK and BEATRICE

BENEDICK
Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

BEATRICE
Yea, and I will weep a while longer.

BENEDICK
I will not desire that.

BEATRICE
You have no reason; I do it freely.

BENEDICK
Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.

BEATRICE
Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!

BENEDICK
Is there any way to show such friendship?

BEATRICE
A very even way, but no such friend.

BENEDICK
May a man do it?

BEATRICE
It is a man’s office, but not yours.

BENEDICK
I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?

BEATRICE
As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.

BENEDICK
By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

BEATRICE
Do not swear, and eat it.

BENEDICK
I will swear by it that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.

BEATRICE
Will you not eat your word?

BENEDICK
With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest I love thee.

BEATRICE
Why, then, God forgive me!

BENEDICK
What offence, sweet Beatrice?

BEATRICE
You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.

BENEDICK
And do it with all thy heart.

BEATRICE
I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

BENEDICK
Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

BEATRICE
Kill Claudio.

BENEDICK
Ha! not for the wide world.

BEATRICE
You kill me to deny it. Farewell.

BENEDICK
Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

BEATRICE
I am gone, though I am here: there is no love in you: nay, I pray you, let me go.

BENEDICK
Beatrice,–

BEATRICE
In faith, I will go.

BENEDICK
We’ll be friends first.

BEATRICE
You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.

BENEDICK
Is Claudio thine enemy?

BEATRICE
Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O that I were a man! What, bear her in hand until they come to take hands; and then, with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,–O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.

BENEDICK
Hear me, Beatrice,–

BEATRICE
Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!

BENEDICK
Nay, but, Beatrice,–

BEATRICE
Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.

BENEDICK
Beat–

BEATRICE
Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count, Count Comfect; a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

BENEDICK
Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.

BEATRICE
Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.

BENEDICK
Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?

BEATRICE
Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

BENEDICK
Enough, I am engaged; I will challenge him. I will
kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By this hand,
Claudio shall render me a dear account. As you
hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your
cousin: I must say she is dead: and so, farewell.

Exeunt

Line Analysis
RSC | 2009

Thoughts

Short: 9
Medium: 5
Long: 2
Total: 16

End-stopped: 5
Mid-line: 11

Periods: 7
Exclamations: 1
Questions: 7
Unfinished: 1

PAULINA
What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?
What wheels? Racks? Fires? What flaying? Boiling?
In leads or oils? what old or newer torture
Must I receive, whose every word deserves
To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny,
Together working with thy jealousies–
Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle
For girls of nine– O, think what they have done
And then run mad indeed, stark mad! for all
Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it.
That thou betray’dst Polixenes,’twas nothing:
That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant
And damnable ingrateful. Nor was’t much,
Thou wouldst have poison’d good Camillo’s honour,
To have him kill a king. Poor trespasses.
More monstrous standing by: whereof I reckon
The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter
To be or none or little; though a devil
Would have shed water out of fire ere done’t.
Nor is’t directly laid to thee, the death
Of the young prince, whose honourable thoughts–
Thoughts high for one so tender– cleft the heart
That could conceive a gross and foolish sire
Blemish’d his gracious dam: this is not, no,
Laid to thy answer. But the last,–O, lords,
When I have said, cry ‘woe!’ The queen, the queen,
The sweet’st, dear’st creature’s dead, and vengeance for’t
Not dropp’d down yet.

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