Much Ado About Nothing

Beatrice Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
Leonato’s niece, an extremely witty and strong-willed young woman. Beatrice has a “merry war,” of wits and insults with Benedick, whom she hates. Like Benedick, Beatrice never wants to marry. All the same, she is tricked by Hero and Ursula into falling in love with and marrying Benedick by the end of the play.

Beatrice Quotes in Much Ado About Nothing

The Much Ado About Nothing quotes below are all either spoken by Beatrice or refer to Beatrice. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Much Ado About Nothing published in 1995.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

“There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her; they never meet but there’s a skirmish of wit between them.”

Related Characters: Leonato (speaker), Benedick, Beatrice
Page Number: 1.1.59-62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is more than a youth is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.”

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker)
Related Symbols: Beards
Page Number: 2.1.36-39
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker)
Page Number: 4.1.331-338
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 5, Scene 4 Quotes

“…get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverent than one tipped with horn.”

Related Characters: Benedick (speaker), Beatrice
Related Symbols: The Savage Bull
Page Number: 5.4.126-128
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Beatrice Character Timeline in Much Ado About Nothing

The timeline below shows where the character Beatrice appears in Much Ado About Nothing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Beatrice, Leonato’s niece, asks the messenger about Benedick, a Lord of Padua. She makes sarcastic remarks... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...go to the effort of housing and entertaining his new guests. Soon after, Benedick and Beatrice begin trading insults and sarcastic remarks. Benedick calls Beatrice a “parrot teacher,” (1.1.138) and both... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...wearing a yoke, like a beast of burden in the field. He also claims that Beatrice, despite her bad personality, is more beautiful than Hero. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Antonio, Leonato, Beatrice and Hero discuss Don John’s bad attitude, comparing him with Benedick. Beatrice says that Don... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...to see his face, but he charmingly deflects her request. Benedick, also masked, speaks with Beatrice. Pretending not to know who he is, she asks if it’s true that Signior Benedick... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...Hero for him, he refuses to believe it, and mopes away. Alone, Benedick complains about Beatrice’s insults, swearing that he isn’t as she says and promising revenge. Don Pedro arrives, looking... (full context)
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Just as Benedick is speaking of her, Beatrice arrives, along with Claudio, Leonato and Hero. Benedick and Beatrice begin arguing bitterly. A remark... (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
Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio talk somberly about Beatrice’s supposed love for Benedick. Aware that Benedick is listening from the trees, Leonato swears that... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Beatrice comes to invite Benedick in for dinner. Uncharacteristically, he treats her with gallantry and friendliness.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
The female characters prepare a similar ambush. Hero sends Margaret to fetch Beatrice, instructing her to say that she has overheard Hero and Ursula gossiping about her. Hero... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...on her fashion and teasing her about soon being the “heavier for a husband.” (3.4.35) Beatrice enters, claiming to have a cold, and Margaret teases her as well. Accusing her of... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...(4.1.140) and that her shame has infected him. Benedick cautions him to be patient, while Beatrice is immediately certain that Hero has been slandered. Interrupting Leonato’s ranting despair, the Friar says... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...reappears. Benedick expresses support, and Leonato agrees to the plan. Everyone leaves but Benedick and Beatrice. (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Benedick comforts Beatrice, who is weeping over what has happened to her cousin. In the course of their... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
...feast. Not yet believing that Benedick is serious about dueling, Don Pedro teases him about Beatrice’s love. Paying no attention to this, Benedick leaves, promising to meet “Lord Lackbeard,” (5.1.192) later... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
...that this is because his wit is not meant to hurt women. Leaving to fetch Beatrice, Margaret wittily replies that women have bucklers to defend themselves from the swords of men.... (full context)
Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Beatrice arrives and wants to know what has happened between Benedick and Claudio. After learning that... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Claudio and Don Pedro arrive, and two masked women—Beatrice and Hero—are brought forward. Claudio, noticing that Benedick is nervous, teases him about becoming a... (full context)
Love and Masquerade Theme Icon
Language, Perception and Reality Theme Icon
Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme Icon
Benedick unmasks Beatrice and asks if she loves him. She says that she loves him “no more than... (full context)