Witty - Feisty - Vulnerable
I believe that Beatrice's motivation is protecting the one's she loves no matter what. For example, when Beatrice is talking to the Prince she says, "So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I should prove the mother of fools," (Act 2 Scene 1). She's stating why she always talks to Benedick with a sharp tongue. It's because she loved him once, but he didn't love her the same, and now doesn't want to be fooled by him again. She uses her wit to protect herself from being tricked by Benedick. Another example of her protecting others is after Claudio ruins Hero's life at the alter. Beatrice says to Benedick, " ...Public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancor- O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace." Since she is a woman, she can't kill Claudio herself, but makes Benedick kill him for her in honor of her cousin, Hero. He publicly humiliated her in front of their community, and Beatrice would do anything to clear her name for her.
In the beginning, Beatrice is feisty and witty. She is against falling in love easily, and is looking for the perfect husband. Her and Benedick constantly bicker, always competing with each other for the best insult. It may seem as though she is tough, but I believe she put a wall up after breaking up with Benedick so she wouldn't be hurt again. But, after overhearing that Benedick loves her again, she quickly expresses her love for him. She never really stopped loving him. The bickering stops, and instead is replaced by emotions and love. She seems to be happier, smiling and laughing more than she did.
Plot and Theme
There are two main relationships in this play: Claudio and Hero, and Benedick and Beatrice. The whole story revolves around them. Without Beatrice, there wouldn't be another relationship to focus on. Benedick wouldn't date her and break her heart, and their feuding would never happen. She also influences Hero's decision to marry, "...let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsy and say, 'Father, as it please me."which later effects the climax of the story: when Claudio leaves Hero at the alter. She helps keep Hero's "death" a secret, and wants revenge on Claudio for publicly humiliating her. Beatrice and Benedick's love is pragma. By how the talk to each other and outwit one another seems to me like a game, while Beatrice also wants real romantic love.