Beatrice

Beatrice is a very important character in the play not only because of her love story but because of the role she plays. She is Hero’s cousin. She represents the image of a experienced woman-This character could be seen as the jester in the play, but, actually we shouldn’t see her as it, overcoat in extreme situations like the scene in which she asks Benedick to commit a crime.

We could compare her with a XXI century woman, who has her own ideas and beliefs. She has not that innocent spirit, as Hero has. Obviously she is older than Hero, but that doesn’t mean that a woman of her age would act like she does at her time. She is an independent woman who laughts at herself and take life with humour, that’s why sometimes its character could be confused with the jester.

According to Ewen’s classification of characters, we could say that Beatrice is a complex character, who has more than one trait. In fact, I would say that her character is the most complex of the play because she plays different roles along the play, I mean, she is not a flat and static character. Her personality is not dominated by one important trait, but by a lot of them. We see her humour, and her way she faces life. Then, we see her in a desperate situation, and she reacts according to it. And, we also see her happiness caused by loving a man.

Very related to this, is the fact that her character suffers a development along the play, when she is not interested in anyone, and even less in Benedick, but overhearing a conversation, she realises she loves him too. As I said, I think both concepts are related because if she would be a static character, the most evident would be not to develop, and viceversa.

In regards of the third axe of Ewen, penetration into inner life, I would say that Beatrice is a character that has nothing to hide. She shows herself the way she is, without any intrigues and later surprises. We could qualify her as a sincere and coherent person, and Shakespeare makes of her a character without any secrets or ambiguous things.

Then, taking into account what Freud says about the conscious and unconscious, I would try to identify some afirmative statements with the personality that Shakespeare has created for this character. I think, that Freud’s theory has not to be seen as a character in concrete, I mean that each point of the clasificantion could be identified with diferent actions of a character at some point. For example, in this case, Beatrice acts with what Freud would call the id, in the scene which asks Benedick to kill Claudio. It wouldn’t be, as Freud says, related to the pleasure principle as something sexual, but it has to do with our insctinct. She reacts in that way as a response to the attack that has suffered her cousin. So it is an instinctive reaction of defense.

Also, making a comparison with what Freud points out: “in popular language, we may say that the ego stands for reason and circumspection, while the id stands for the untamed passions.”, we could affirm that her id says that she loves Benedick which is something from her unconscious, while her ego says the contrary, at the beggining of the play, when she rejects him.

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