Much Ado About Nothing Act 4 Scene 1

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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by William Shakespeare:
What does Leonato and Claudio’s treatment of Hero in Act 4 Scene 1 reveal about each character’s relationship with her and their attitudes to women?

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is a romantic comedy set in the Elizabethan era. It shows the roles of men and women in a patriarchal society and how each are looked upon. The themes of this play are cuckold, where a married mans wife has sex with other men; the wife is adulterous. This play shows the relationship between two courtly lovers, ‘Hero’ and ‘Claudio’.

Leonato being the father of Hero has a close relationship with her. Hero represents Leonato in her image, and reflects on the way Leonato has brought up as a daughter. Leonato seems to be proud of his daughter and constantly, throughout the play, he shows her off. Leonato feels he knows his daughter very well, but also, expects a lot from her and wants to do what is best for his self image. With Leonato being much older than Claudio, Leonato knows what is best for his daughter, Hero and wants her to marry someone that will contribute to his self-image to, to make him look more superior. Claudio is Hero’s fiancé, and Hero also plays an important image for Claudio’s sake. Claudio does not know Hero very much, but relates to her as a ‘Jewel’. By relating Hero to a ‘Jewel, it shows us how precious she is to him and as a jewel is a prized possession gives us the image that Hero is Claudio’s prized possession.

Don Jon creates this devious plan to get back at his brother Don Pedro as Don Pedro has it was his responsibility for this marriage to continue, therefore he wooed Hero for Claudio, so if it was to go wrong it would look bad on Don Pedro as he started this relationship. In ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Claudio seems to be very insecure; this is shown by the way Don Jon can easily mislead him into something which is not true. Claudio is seen as an easy target. To Claudio there is a lot of...
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