This GCSE English Literature quiz is the second of two extract questions for William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It takes place in Act Four, Scene One, after the dramatic scenes on the morning of Hero’s wedding. In this passage, Benedick and Beatrice leave their teasing and mockery behind for a more intimate and sincere conversation. They do not share the same aims and understanding of the situation, however. One interesting detail to note is the difference in the way each character addresses the other. Benedick repeatedly uses an intimate “thou”, reserved for those who are very close, while Beatrice maintains a formal “you” in her speech, refusing the closeness sought by Benedick.
Remember to read the passage through more than once before answering the questions.
Consider the ways in which this passage relates to the themes of the play. Which details do you identify as significant? How do you view the pace and rhythm of the conversation? Don’t forget: it’s a good idea to practise several extract questions, so be sure to try the Extract 1 quiz, as well!
Always read through the passage more than once before you begin to answer an extract question in an exam. On the first reading, you should aim for a broad understanding of the passage, considering especially how it relates to the question or questions you will be answering. As you read through the second time, you should begin noting details and making annotations. Ask yourself why the specific passage has been chosen: what is its significance? How does it relate to the rest of the text? Can you define its place in the structure of the text? Are any significant characters or themes introduced? What happens next? Can you see evidence of foreshadowing? How does the passage develop? Can you think of a reason why the extract ends where it does instead of elsewhere? Is the final line significant?
You should also think carefully about the question you have been asked to answer. Does it concern mood and atmosphere of the extract or a particular character? Perhaps you have been asked to discuss dialogue, behaviour or feelings. Now think about the question you have been asked and the notes you have made in relation to the themes of the text. Remember to explain the passage’s immediate context: what has happened before this point in the text? How do prior events relate to those of the extract? Carefully consider the detail, setting and characterisation. When writing, group related ideas together, but remember to discuss the entire passage in your answer. Allow yourself time to cover the entire passage. Otherwise, you might spend all your time writing on the first half in great detail at the expense of the rest of the passage.
Read the passage below carefully before answering the questions.