Beards are a complicated symbol of masculinity in Much Ado About Nothing
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.