All I Wanted Was...
To prove to my Ex-Wife Beatrice that she means nothing to me "God keep your Ladyship still in that mind, so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face (131)."
To keep my pride
To live a single life
To keep my freedom
To not have to worry about other people's feelings
Then Later On, All I Wanted Was...
To impress Beatrice
To get vengeance on Claudio
To show my love for Beatrice
To show Beatrice I can be a nice person too
For Beatrice to see the poetry I wrote for her
In the beginning of the play, Benedick wanted to prove to everyone that he did not need love in order to live a happy life. His motivation was to live a single life. Whenever he was around Beatrice, he tried to show her how great of a man he was and how it was her loss that she dumped him. He tells her she is the problem: "Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none (122)." In this quote he is describing how all of the ladies love him except for Beatrice and she is the one that has the problem. Even though everyone loves him, he still chooses to live a single life since he does not love anybody back. Later on in the play, his view on living a single life changes and he shows love for Beatrice and tries to impress her. After he overhears Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonardo say that Beatrice loves him, he tells himself: "I have railed so long against marriage, but doth not the appetite after? ... When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married (239)." This shows that Benedick changes from a person who does not love anyone to someone who is now deeply in love.
Benedick affects the theme, which is love, and the plot of the play when he decides to stay with Hero and look after her at her wedding after Claudio accused her of having an affair with someone else. When this happens, he shows that he now has loyalty to the women he loves. Because of this, Beatrice persuades him to challenge Claudio for accusing Hero of something she did not do. This shows how much Beatrice cares about Hero because she is willing to give up her own love for Hero's reputation. It also displays how in love Benedick is with Beatrice because he is willing to give up his friendship with Claudio over Beatrice's love. He does not end up challenging Claudio however, because he wants to stay loyal to him too. The truth then comes out that Hero never had an affair with someone else and her and Claudio end up getting married in the last scene. At the same time Benedick asks Beatrice if she still loves him and she denies it. However, the letters they wrote to each other show up in the end and show that she actually does love him. They then finally agree to get married.