In the beginning of the play, "Much Ado About Nothing" by Shakespeare, Beatrice made clear that she thought most men were rude, and repulsive. Not long after, when the soldiers return, she doesn't hide the fact that she really disliked Benedick when she says, "I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick, nobody marks you"(Act I, Scene I, lines 114-115). Even though she claims that she dislikes Benedick and loathes love, she is motivated by both of them because she loves Benedick, but won't let herself believe it. Throughout the play, the characters try to set up Beatrice and Benedick, because they both think that love is "horrible", and can only love each other. Then, in act III, Beatrice overhears her cousin, Hero, and Hero's maid discussing Benedick and how he loves her. This was part of the plan to try to set them up, but Benedick and Beatrice don't know this. She is delighted to hear that he loves her and proclaims, "And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand. If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee To bind our loves up in a holy band"(Act III, Scene II, lines 117-120). This displays how from the beginning of the play to the end, Beatrice is motivated by love, even though she tries so hard to believe that she isn't.
In the play, Beatrice is first introduced when she questions the messenger, "I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no"(Act I, Scene I, lines 30-31)? We are then told that Hero is her cousin, and she is Leonato's niece. We also are given the information that Beatrice and Benedick used to date each other, and it ended badly. Leonato apologies to the messenger by explaining, "You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her. They never meet, but there's a skirmish of wit between them"(Act I, Scene I, lines 59-62). Beatrice makes many harsh comments about Benedick, which people who don't know her think that she is a mean person, while people who do know her can see that she says them because she has feelings for him. From the beginning, Beatrice comes across as a cold, rude lady, who would never find love, but she ends up falling in love with Benedick. In the end, Benedick and Beatrice are able to turn their harsh, harmful words, into witty banter between them.
Impact on Plot and Theme
Beatrice impacts the plot, because without her, one of the love stories would vanish. She also helps to protect Hero in her time of need and she also adds a bit of fun with her wit and personality. Beatrice impacts the theme of love because in the beginning, she claimed that she didn't need love. However, in the end she ended up marrying Benedick, the man who she claimed to hate.
Beatrice adds to the theme of love because no matter how hard she tried to persuade herself, she couldn't escape her feelings for Benedick. Beatrice and Benedick have agape (eros + storge) because they are willing to help each other, and still want to be with each other.