Taking a Spin on Shakespeare
Our Spin on Shakespeare :
|Much Ado About Nothing Summary||
Scene VIII : (Ophelia and Margaret have made sure that Beatrice has been told that they are speaking about her. Their anticipation that Beatrice will seek them out, but not reveal herself is confirmed. Pretending not to notice Beatrice, Ophelia and Margaret converse loudly enough for Beatrice’s ears about Horatio’s love for her. Beatrice is a most willing listener.)
(Enter Ophelia and Margaret)
Oph. Margaret, you are sure that Beatrice has been told?
Margaret. Yea, she commands knowledge that we are steeped in great conversation involving Horatio and herself.
Oph. Good. This meets our purpose. When Beatrice comes, our talk must only be of Horatio. Let it be thy part to praise him more than ever man did merit. My talk to thee must be how Horatio is sick in love with Beatrice. (Enter Beatrice) Now begin, for look where Beatrice runs close by the ground to hear our conference.
Margaret. (aside to Ophelia) Fear you not my part of the dialogue. (with syrupy affectation) But are you sure that Horatio loves Beatrice so entirely?
Ophelia. So says my brother Laertes who knows Horatio’s heart.
Margaret. And did he bid you tell her of it, madam?
Ophelia. He did entreat me to acquaint her of it, but I persuaded him, if he loved Horatio, to wrestle with affection and never let Beatrice know of it.
Margaret. Why did you so? Horatio doth deserve as much as may be yielded to a man. Yet, nature never framed a woman’s heart of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice. Her wit values itself so highly that to her all matter else seems weak. She has not the capacity to love, nor to take on a project of affection.
Ophelia. And therefore it were not good she knew his love, lest she’ll make sport at it.
Margaret. I never yet saw man, how wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured, but she would spell him backward. So turns she every man the wrong side out, and never gives to truth and virtue that which simpleness and merit deserve.
Ophelia. You speak truth, but who dare tell her so? If I speak to her she would mock me into air. Therefore let Horatio consume away in sighs. It were a better death than die with mocks.
Margaret. Yet tell her of it, we must.
Ophelia. No. Rather I will go to Horatio and counsel him to fight against his passion. And truly, I’ll devise some honest slanders to stain Beatrice with.
Margaret. O, do not do Beatrice such a wrong. She cannot be so much without true judgement and so excellent a wit as to refuse so rare a gentleman as Horatio.
Ophelia. Indeed, she hath wit and he that special rarity.
(They walk away)
Margaret. (aside) We have caught her, madam.
Ophelia. (aside) If it prove so, then loving goes by haps. Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
(Exeunt Ophelia and Margaret)
Beatrice. (coming forward) What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? Contempt, farewell; and maiden pride, adieu. Horatio, love on. I will requite thee. If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee to bind our loves up in a holy band. (Exit)
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