To what extent is ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ a dramatic
representation of the comedy of deception?
The title of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ indicates that there is a lot of fuss over topics which have little importance in the play-for example if Claudio wasn’t rash and hot headed then Don johns ill deceived plan would not of worked at all. The use of deception throughout makes the plot so complex. An evident example is when Don John who operates as a plot-device falsely slanders Hero for his own mischievous behaviour, “the lady is disloyal” (Act 3 Scene 2, 87-88), (he is not one of Shakespeare’s most complex villain which reminds the audience that ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ isn’t supposed to be a tragedy), countered by Friar’s deception who pretends Hero is dead to get back at Claudio for publicly humiliating Hero. Alternatively, the Friar’s plan to pretend that Hero is dead is yet another illusion created to prevent the truth being told. He knows of the ‘strange misprision in the princes’ yet recommends further plotting. Hero becomes a passive character throughout the play as she does little in the play but becomes an interesting character through the other characters deceptions. Hero is supposed to be the main female character in the play though she has the fewest lines, she only reacts to the actions and commands from the other characters, she hardly acts herself. Even when Claudio publicly humiliates Hero at their wedding she doesn’t defend herself at all meaning the audience won’t question Claudio’s accusations and believe him. Even when the accusations against her are cleared and after she’s witnessed Claudio’s reckless behaviour, she accepts him back into her life without asking for an apology. This exposes Hero’s vulnerability to circumstances and the minimum distinguishing characteristics she has. Though deception is known to be bad it is used to bring out positive results in the play of which are actually artificial and easily undone. An example of...
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