Explore the theme of deception in the characterisation of Benedick. Comment on diction, diegetic and non-diegetic sound, camera shot angles and movements and editing.
The theme of deception in this scene is shown in Benedick when his friends trick him into believing that Beatrice has fallen in love with him. Benedick has hidden himself in the garden when Claudio, Don Pedro and Leonato come down. They start talking about Beatrice and Benedick and how much she is in love with him, knowing that Benedick would be eavesdropping. They use metaphorical diction as Claudio states, ‘bait the hook well, this fish will bite.’ Meaning that Benedick will fall for their trickery if they keep up their chatter about Beatrice. Claudio’s diction is then exaggerated when he describes Beatrice when she ‘beats her heart’ and ‘cries “sweet benedick”.’ After Claudio, Don Pedro and Leonato Leave. Benedick’s diction is very clear to show that he is very passionate about Beatrice, proving that he has been deceived but doesn’t realise it. The use of high modality diction in the phrase ‘No! The world must be peopled’ also represents his determination in returning her love.
Before the trio start their conversation, they ask Balthasar for a song (which is a diegetic sound), and in the song he sings ‘men were deceivers ever … to one thing constant never’, this creates irony, as they are about to become deceivers towards Benedick, and so the song is foreshadowing what is about to happen. The words of the song also provide a metaphor for Benedick’s changing views about love and marriage, as he seems to be ‘constant never’ about it.
The non-diegetic sound is playful and supports the theme of deception, as the men are fooling Benedick. The tune is light-hearted, major tone implies that the deception is not harmful or dangerous, just a bit of fun. This is reinforced by the soft lighting used during the scene that suggest the characters have good motives for tricking Benedick.