Much Ado About Nothing

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Defining 16th Century True Love
based on the play Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare

To define true love, would be to ruin its purity, therefore, It has no definition. However, the Shakespearean play, Much Ado about Nothing, illustrates episodes of various defining moments on love in action. The contrasting views throughout the play about true love depict two sets of lovers Benedick and Beatrice, Claudio and Hero. Several governing actions by both sets of lovers set the tone as the pair search for the truth about love. Throughout the play examples of moments, views, and actions define 16th century true love.

Defining moments on love show an illustrated fanciful language that courtiers used throughout the play. For example, When Claudio falls in love he tries to be the perfect courtier by using intricate language. Benedick remarks: “His words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes”. Another act in the play shows another moment of love based on society standards, and the masking of Hero and the other women reveals that the social institution of marriage has little to do with love. When Claudio flounders and asks, “Which is the lady I must seize upon?” he is ready and willing to commit the rest of his life to one of a group of unknown masked women. A defining example of love in this play relies on the answer Benedick gives to Beatrice when she asks him to duel Claudio for his role in abandoning Hero at the alter on their wedding day. Benedick tells Beatrice “by this hand, I love thee, I am engaged; I will challenge him.” Feeling what is termed, true love, must be felt in your gut and heart not based on what you see.

Contrasting views of true love presented in this Shakespearean play start out with Claudio, a warrior returning from war, claiming his love for Hero, a beautiful, sweet, innocent daughter of the Governor of Messina, Leonato. Claudio’s feelings of love...
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