Much Ado About Nothing

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William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a play involving by deception, disloyalty, trickery, eavesdropping, and hearsay. The play contains numerous examples of schemes that are used to manipulate the thoughts of other characters; it is the major theme that resonates throughout the play. Ironically, it is one of these themes that bring serenity to the chaos that encompasses most of the play.

The first example of deception we see is with the characters of Beatrice and Benedick. These two characters provide the humor throughout Shakespeare's comedy; their repartees and soliloquies tend to leave the reader smiling and anxious for more dialogue between them. Beatrice and Benedick have had a relationship prior to their battles of wit to which she alludes to in Act 2: "Marry, once before he won it for me with false dice; / Therefore your grace may well say I have lost it' (2.1.265-7). We see that at one time in the past they had a relationship that somewhere went wrong. The deception of Beatrice and Benedick comes courtesy of Don Pedro in Act 2. In this scene, Don Pedro, out of pure amusement, asks Leonato, the governor of Messina, and Claudio, a lord attending on Don Pedro, for help to bring these two together: "If we can do this, Cupid is no / longer an archer; his glory shall be ours…" (2.1.363-4). In Act 2.3, Claudio, Pedro, and Leonato, see Benedick in the garden and decide that that is the right moment for them to try and trick Benedick into falling for Beatrice. The three men talk of Beatrice's false affections towards Benedick, and in his eavesdropping he falls for the bait. Benedick, shows us his true feelings in his soliloquy: "This can be no trick… / I will be horribly in love with her" (2.3.210,223). Benedick, decides that he will allow himself to fall in love with Beatrice.

The second example of deception is seen in Act 3.1. Hero and Ursula do their parts to trick Beatrice into falling in love with Benedick....
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