The Benedicts
The Benedicts
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The Benedicts

Who We Are

Located in New York's Capital District, The Benedicts is a private, not-for-profit organization that brings couples together at regular intervals for socializing and formal dancing. The Benedicts events are open only to member couples and their invited guests. If you and your partner are interested in becoming members, you may ask a current member couple to sponsor you.

Origin and Etymology of Our Name

The Benedicts: A Rose by Any Other Word

Courtier from Roxburghe Ballads    
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet, II. ii. 43-44.
Benedict \Ben"e*dict\, Benedick \Ben"e*dick\, n. [From Benedick, one of the characters in Shakespeare's play of "Much Ado about Nothing."] A married man, or a man newly married. [1913 Webster].
Definition from the Online Dictionary, <http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.com/word/benedict>, retrieved November 25, 2008.
  

Image and quotations from Michael Best, "Beatrice and Benedick," Much Ado about Nothing, Shakespeare's Life and Times, Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria: Victoria, BC, 2001-2005, <http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/plays/adobb.html>, retrieved November 25, 2008.

DON PEDRO: Well, as time shall try: "In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke."
BENEDICK: The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted, and in such great letters as they write "Here is good horse to hire," let them signify under my sign "Here you may see Benedick the married man."
Much Ado About Nothing, I. i. 229-36.

How appropriate: "Much ado about nothing." What is in a name? A name defines us from the moment of our birth. It is very often the first official act for a newborn child: the parental declaration of the child's name. In our society we very often define who we are by labels, names that we adopt, or that others apply to us.

Very likely there are members out there for whom the name "The Benedicts" is no mystery; however, to the others, the answer is in the definition referenced above: Benedict, a married man. Likely considered archaic in present usage, it is a term coined from one of Shakespeare's most memorable comedic characters.

Shakespeare's Benedick is a confirmed bachelor at the beginning of the play. His favorite sport is engaging in witty repartee with anyone who will listen (including, at times, just those in the audience). His foil is the character Beatrice, a confirmed bachelorette. As with all Elizabethan comedy, it is apparent from the outset that the two are destined for true courtly love, and matrimony, by the play's end.

Their story is intertwined with that of Benedick's best friend, Claudio, and the object of his affections, Beatrice's cousin Hero. Claudio intends to marry Hero but scorns her at the altar having been deceived by the evil Don John, believing that Hero has been unfaithful on the eve of their nuptials.

Beatrice, having come to terms with Benedick about their true feelings for each other, charges Benedick with righting the situation and restoring Hero's honor. Benedick, in turn, challenges Claudio to a duel. The duel, however, never occurs as the deceit is revealed, and, instead, a dual wedding is performed in the end. In Elizabethan comedy, in stark contrast to Elizabethan tragedy, marriage always ends the play, and the more services performed, the happier the audience at play's end.

Our founding members chose the name "The Benedicts" to signify our origin as a "married couples only" organization. Today, we welcome all couples and maintain the Shakespearean tradition of happy endings!

The Benedicts
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