Shakespeare is arguably the best author that has ever existed on the phase of the earth. He has written many plays, poems and literal pieces that have remained significant to the world to date. His creativity and ability to write literary pieces that people could relate to, made him a famous writer for many generations even after his death. His ability to write literary pieces that reflected the day-to-day activities. Shakespeare was one of the few writers that could write appealing pieces of different literary genres and make them appealing to the reader. Among many literary pieces written by Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing is one of the literary pieces that has stood out from the rest. This piece is a comedy that entails serious meditation, politics, shame and most of all robust humor (Henze, 188). This piece uses humor as a way of portraying the major vice that affect the society. Deceit and trickery are a major element of the play and form the major thematic concerns in the play. Using trickery and deceit Shakespeare builds his characters in a way they reflect the evils of the society.
The play begins with the news that Don Pedro would be returning from a successful battle. Don Pedro is a Spanish Prince from Aragon was in the company of various soldiers that helped him in the conquest. Among these soldiers are Claudio and Benedick whose rivalry a friendship are intertwined in such a way that they create a humorous relationship. The messenger sent to bring the news of the victory makes fun of Benedicks fragile nature in war and weakness as a soldier. His remarks are not only a humiliation to Benedick but also predict his character in the play. Beatrice, Leonatos niece, shows a great interest in the welfare of Benedick. She openly asks about his welfare in the conquest and feels humiliated by the answer given by the servant.
After the conquest, Leonato invites Don Pedro to stay with him as a way of expressing his gratitude for his commitment to the war. During his stay, his close associates are around the palace. Benedick and Beatrice resume their friendly blame battles but denying the existence of any romantic feelings between them. This notion is put to the test when Claudio, Benedicks friend, openly declares his love for Hero, Leonatos daughter. Bendick tries to cover up his feelings for Beatrice by saying that the relationship as disgusting and he was never interested in marriage. His confession was just but a mischievous way of hiding the feelings that he had for Beatrice. He tries to dissuade Claudio from pursuing Hero a way of stopping any pressure that would come to him upon his friends marriage. He attempts to fight the relationship between the two as a way of proving that he has no feelings for Beatrice. He thinks that having Bachelor friends would help him get rid of any pressure to marry or admit his feelings for Beatrice. His attempts fail as Don Pedro encourages the relationship and declares that he would marry once he found the right person to share his with his life.
At a masquerade ball organized to celebrate the victory at the conquest, different characters reveal their true intentions as they use mischief and trickery to achieve their hidden motives. Don Pedro decides to help his friend Claudio to get his love Hero by wooing her pretending to be Claudio. Don Pedro has good intentions and wishes to be the right man that helps Claudio get married to Hero. His intention is to quicken the romance by confessing Claudios love for Hero while pretending to be him. His noble intention would be questioned as his brother seeks revenge by misinforming Claudio of the Don Pedros actions. Don John tells Claudio that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself despite the fact that he knew of Claudios feelings about her. This information ignites fury as Claudio feels betrayed by his friend. Claudio uses trickery to fight his battle and revenge against his stepbrother. He hopes that this revelation would cause Claudio to fight Don Pedro in his anger, and he would get his revenge without having to throw a blow or lift a sword. This plan fails as Don Pedro and Claudio show a high level of sobriety and clear up the misunderstanding easily. With the help of Don Pedro, Claudio wins Heros hand in marriage, and they begin their life together. The masks of the masquerade ball disguise Don Johns identity and his motive f revenge remains hidden to Don Pedro.
The masquerade ball presents Benedick an opportunity to quench his desire to be close to Beatrice. Benedick decides to dance with Beatrice, and since he has worn a mask, she would not recognize him. Benedick had finally decided to confront his feelings about Beatrice and dance with her without her knowledge. However, his decision to pursue this mission turns into his worst nightmare. Beatrice was not ready to admit her true feelings for Benedick and decided to deny such feelings. She thought that confessing the way she despises Benedick would help in hiding her true feelings for him. This trick worked better than she thought as she told Benedick of his failures and weaknesses. In her confession, she said that Benedick is the princes jester and a dull fool that cannot stand on his own. These words hurt Benedicks ego, and he sought to revenge this incident. Beatrice hopes that her words would hide her feelings for Benedick and reveal how she despises him.
This trick failed to work as the people that heard her words were able to read her intent. Don Pedro and his friends decide to use trickery to test the legitimacy of Beatrices claims that she has no feelings for Benedick. They arrange that for a conversation in which Benedick would hear them say of Beatrices love for him. They said that her ego was the only thing that was stopping her from openly admitting her feelings was her ego. This trick helped to console Benedick whose ego was badly hurt by the Beatrices utterances. Trickery was used as a tool that would restore the friendship between Beatrice and Benedick hoping that they both would confront their feelings and develop their relationship. This conversation not only helps in healing Benedicks hurt ego but also restores his interest in Beatrice. Hero and Ursula also become part of the trickery and plan to have Beatrice overhear their conversation where they declare Benedicks love for her. This trick was aimed at giving Beatrice the confidence that Benedick had the same feelings for him (Fleck, 16). Beatrice and Benedick reconcile having their doubts cleared about their love for each other. The trickery ignites a mutual admiration for each other as they both think that they are objects of admiration and unrequited love.
Trickery is also used a way of expressing evil motives in the play. The main antagonist in the play, Don John decides is determined to embarrass his brother as a way of revenge. He plotted a plan in which to have Claudio and Hero break up. This breakup would cause tensions in between Don Pedro and his friends, and he would have had his revenge. He arranges for his associate Borachio to enter Heros chamber as Claudio and Don Pedro looked. He then accused her of unfaithfulness and gross misconduct. Borachio had an affair with Margret, Heros maid, and had gone to visit her at the time. Don John hoped that this information would cause the breakup of the couple and bring tensions and fights among people that lived like close friends. In his fury, Claudio vows to embarrass Hero publicly for her betrayal and unfaithfulness. Don Pedro was a witness to the unfaithfulness and would have to stand by his friends decision. This incident would lead to the tensions between him and his host Leonato.
His trickery worked as Claudio denied Hero on her wedding day. Claudio was furious of the alleged unfaithfulness and had decided to embarrass her. The wedding was an appropriate moment to exercise this, as all the guests would witness his accusation of infidelity. He denounced Hero before the guests at the wedding and accused her of infidelity and betrayal before them. This denial was the ultimate embarrassment for Hero as her reputation and dignity would be ruined forever. On hearing these accusations, Hero fainted out of shock. She could not believe that Claudio had the guts to do such a cruel thing. Also, Don Pedro, who was her trusted friend and an advocate for their marriage, had followed him. She felt betrayed, and her humiliated as two of the people she had trusted most had turned to become her worst enemies. Her father Leonato was equally angry and depressed and expressed his concerns that she would die.
The presiding flair was the only person that believed in Heros innocence and planned a trick that would establish the genuineness of Claudios accusations and remorse. He suggested that the news be sent to Claudio that Hero had died due to the shock she got at her wedding. This move would move Claudio to reveal the true cause of his actions. The news of Heros death caused a great rift to develop between different people that were very close in the past. Don Johns evil plans of causing a rift between these allies had worked perfectly. His trickery had caused the development of hatred between people that were allies as they all believed to be on the right side and victims of gross betrayal.
Humbled by the incidents that had just occurred Beatrice and Benedick decide to confess their love for each other. These events had opened their eyes to the reality of life and ignited the urge to make these confessions. The mutual bitterness caused Their confessions they felt after the events at the wedding. Beatrice decided to use the opportunity to trick Benedick into revenging Heros death.' She requested Benedick to kill Claidio as a prove that he loved her. This murder would be the only way that she would get justice for her kinswoman. However, Benedick refused to honor this request as his conscience would not allow him. Benedick, Leonato and his brother Antonio accused Claudio of the alleged death of Hero and challenged him to a duel.
However, before the duel began, two guards that had overheard Borachios plot to set up Hero, revealed their knowledge about this issue. They arrest them and force them to confess of their evil plan and disclose its mastermind, Don John. After learning of the arrest of his allies, Don John flees the country fearing for his life. The revelation of the truth made Claudio regret his actions of denying Hero on her wedding day. He is ready to do anything to prove that he is sorry for his actions and the death of Hero.
To test his remorse, his father demands that he marries Heros cousin to ensure that he carries the family name. This final trick would reveal his remorse and prove his love for Hero. Claudio agrees to the proposal and is ready to go on with the wedding to prove that he was sorry and offer consolation to the family for causing them pain and loss. The plans for the wedding are made, and the people in the and the wedding takes place. When Claudio unveils his bride, he discovers that it is Hero. He is overjoyed and relieved knowing that he did not lose his love and would. He was glad to know that he had passed all the tests that were to reveal his remorse about the Heros death. Caught up in the happiness, Benedick and Beatrice make their relationship public. Don John is arrested and is awaits judgment after the completion of the wedding.
Trickery is one of the major character traits in most characters in the play. They disclose their humorous nature in different ways. Their language is colorful and represents the nature of the people in the Renaissance period. Their language was eloquent and clever it seemed that their clever performance was effortless. Their speeches were full of sarcasm and irony, which made them funny and appealing to the audience. Comedy is...
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