Much Ado About Nothing

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Beards Symbol Analysis

Beards Symbol Icon
Beards are a complicated symbol of masculinity in Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick’s beard symbolizes his rugged bachelorhood, while Claudio’s clean-shaven face indicates his “softness,” and vulnerability—Benedick at one point calls him “Lord Lack-beard.” Beatrice’s dislike of beards symbolically stands for her resistance to men in general. Much Ado connects beardlessness with falling in love: the first thing Benedick does when he falls in love with Beatrice is to shave. Altogether, the connection between beards, love and masculinity in the play seem to suggest that falling in love, for a man, comes with the risk of losing one’s masculinity—as represented by the beard.
Get the entire Much Ado About Nothing LitChart as a printable PDF.
Much ado about nothing.pdf.medium

Beards Symbol Timeline in Much Ado About Nothing

The timeline below shows where the symbol Beards appears in Much Ado About Nothing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...she is thankful to God she has no husband, in some part because she hates beards. When Leonato advises her to find a beardless husband, she suggests that such a husband... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...unworthy of her. Benedick, listening in, concludes that it must be true—someone as old and bearded as Leonato, the Governor of Messina, would never participate in a childish trick. Benedick quickly... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...tease him for having fallen in love. They point out that he has shaved his beard, rubbed himself with civet (a form of musk or perfume), and has begun to dress... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...him about Beatrice’s love. Paying no attention to this, Benedick leaves, promising to meet “Lord Lackbeard,” (5.1.192) later in combat. As he goes, he mentions that Don John has fled from... (full context)