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Much Ado About Nothing

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Enter BENEDICK andMARGARET
BENEDICK andMARGARET enter.


BENEDICK
Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my
hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
BENEDICK
Please Margaret, help me write this poem for Beatrice.

MARGARET
Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
MARGARET
Afterward, will you write a sonnet for me, praising my beauty?


5
BENEDICK
In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come
over it, for in most comely truth thou deservest it.
BENEDICK
I’ll write you such a glorious sonnet, Margaret, that no man will ever be able to come over it. You certainly deserve it.

Benedick means that no man will ever improve on his sonnet;



MARGARET
To have no man come over me! Why, shall I always keep
below stairs?
MARGARET
No man will come

over me

Margaret interprets “come over” in a sexual way

over me
! What a life that would be!

BENEDICK
Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s mouth; it catches.
BENEDICK
Your wit is as quick as a greyhound’s jaws—it catches whatever it goes after.


10
MARGARET
And yours as blunt as the fencer’s foils, which hit but hurt
not.
MARGARET
And your wit is as blunt as a practice sword, with its dull tip; it hits people but doesn’t hurt them.


BENEDICK
A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman. And
so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.
BENEDICK
It’s just that my wit is very gentlemanly, Margaret, and refuses to hurt a woman. Now please, tell Beatrice to come out. I admit defeat; I give you the

bucklers

A “buckler” is a shield with a spike in the middle of it.

bucklers
.

MARGARET
Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.
MARGARET


15
BENEDICK
If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with
a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
BENEDICK
Watch out, though, Margaret—virgins shouldn’t be brandishing their bucklers around.

MARGARET
Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.
MARGARET
I’ll go get Beatrice for you, who can walk here by herself—she has legs.

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