top-rated free essay

Much Ado About Nothing

By dwili32 Dec 03, 2012 1163 Words
Darius Williams
World Literature
Professor Sophie Weeks
5 November 2012
Much Ado about Nothing
To quote the lyrics of a famous pop star:

I can't believe I believed everything we had would last
So young and naive of me to think she was from your past
Silly of me to dream of one day having your kids
Love is so blind it feels right when it's wrong.

The display of human emotions is an everyday occurrence. These emotions range from happiness to sorrow, love to hate, aversion to desire, all of which are revealed in Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing. Wide assortments of emotions are displayed in abundance throughout this work. There are times when the characters’ strengths are shown, and when their weaknesses are exposed. There is, however, a common goal of the male and the female: to find true love and happiness. Shakespeare’s treatment of love in Much Ado About Nothing differs from his other romantic comedies. Sure, it shares the same stagy plot, which finishes with the lovers finally getting back together, but Shakespeare also mocks the conventions of courtly love which was popular at the time. In Much Ado about Nothing, there are many examples of deception and self-deception. The games and tricks played on people often have the best intentions—to make people fall in love, to help someone get what they want, or to make someone realize their mistakes. It is said that "love is blind," yet the emotions that oppose it are in the same way arresting and controlling. Clouding the truth that was once seemingly evident, these emotions in opposition tend to create a chaos. This chaos is the same which Shakespeare portrays as the inconsistency of love. Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing illustrates how anger, jealousy, and betrayal cause this to be so. Beatrice and Benedick are said to have an ongoing "merry war.” When analyzing their relationship throughout the storyline, however, “merry” is the least accurate word that comes to mind. The words they exchange are consistently witty, cruel, and directed at each other's hearts. Benedick calls Beatrice "Lady Disdain" and thinks that she is forever "possessed with a fury." Beatrice, in response, calls Benedick a "disease.” Although these arguments appear to be jokingly humorous, one of the two always seems to take it way too personally. These word wars are quickly forgotten as the fog of anger is cleared from their eyes. This is due to the fact that they overhear each other saying they love one another. Don Pedro is the cause—falsely forcing this couple together! When they hear of this supposed love, the anger is driven away, and they both bid their “contempt, farewell" and their "pride, adieu." Their outlook on love, in turn, is radically altered, and undoubtedly, they were better people because of it. As Beatrice and Benedick's emotions begin to evolve, so does the feelings that Leonato have towards his daughter, Hero. The feelings in this father-daughter relationship, however, are inconsistent and unpredictable. In the beginning, Leonato is described as a "father that so loves his child" and it was said that his "joy of her so overwhelmed," but towards the end of the play, he seemingly cares more for himself than practically possible. While his daughter has been ruined, he feels that the wrong is on him. He so selfishly challenges Claudio to marry his daughter. Leonato even goes so far as attempting to kill Hero, calling death the "fairest cover of her shame.” Leonato is overwhelmed with anger which blinds his fatherly love for her; the love that should be unconditional and forever unchanging. It takes the kind words of the faithful friar to calm Leonato's anger. Additionally, it was with the conviction of Borachio and Conrad that Leonato's "love" for his daughter abruptly returns; this also implies the shallowness and inconstancy of love. Whereas the first couple is blinded by love, and Leonato is blinded by anger, Claudio is blinded by jealousy and ultimately, what is seemingly betrayal. In my opinion, it is Claudio that endures the most extreme and frequent changes of all the characters in Much Ado about Nothing. His relationship with Hero is not like the other relationships. This is mainly because he didn’t have very many conversations with her. In fact, it is the mere sight of her that confirms his love for Hero. Claudio believes "she is the sweetest lady that he ever looked on,” which provides him with enough reason to ask for her to marry him. Even in conversation with Don Pedro, Claudio mentions that he "looked upon her with a soldier's eye that liked, but had a rougher task at hand." This proved that his love had no foundation, and is ultimately only skin-deep. Thus, the love and trust that Claudio has for his friend Don Pedro falters as well. He believes that "the Prince woos for himself" and is drowned with jealousy and a sense of betrayal. After freely falling back in love with Hero, Claudio irrationally believes the words of Don John as well as what he think he sees. They trick Claudio into thinking Hero has another lover by having her servant dress in her clothes and talk to Borachio who calls her by Hero’s name. Claudio hears this and becomes angry, and rightfully so. He then goes out on a whim, deciding to "marry her tomorrow” only to “shame her" publicly at the wedding. Claudio, once again, gains a sense of betrayal. This time it is much more powerfully blinded by anger. The rage that Claudio's attains does not allow him to think logically. He, in turn, does not attempt to confirm the legitimacy of Hero's alleged actions before publicly disgracing her at this wedding. This, in addition to the love at first sight, proves that he was not well aquatinted with Hero, and that his love insincere and shallow. Therefore, the question remains, is love blind? In Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing he doesn't prove that love is blind or now. However, he masterfully proves that love is a force that is vulnerable misguided emotions. Love survives, despite, the inconsistently that it so consistently reveals. In the face of anger, jealousy, and betrayal, love appears weak, yet it triumphs in the end, and as a result, love is proven not to be so blind after all. Leonato: “A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!”

Works Cited

Dansby, Uriah. "Synopsis: Much Ado about Nothing." The Quarrel of Benedick and Beatrice. Utah Shakespeare Festival, 01 2011. Web. 02 Nov 2012. <http://www.bard.org/education/studyguides/muchado/aboutnothing.html>. Tolbert, Robert. "The Ale House Jester and Wit of Beatrice and Benedick." Utah Theater . Amanda Mabillard, 01 2012. Web. 4 Nov 2012. <http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/muchado/beatriceandbenedick.h

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Much Ado About Nothing: The Meaning of True Love and Romantic Couples Like many of his comedies, William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing involves young couples getting together, or trying to get together, and ends with the happy lovers getting married.  On the surface this appears to be a rather fairy-tale like ending, and both sets of ...

    Read More
  • Review Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Kenneth Branagh’s presentation of Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was a brilliant one in which the Romantic Comedy begins with war and ends with marriage. It revolves around the relationships of two couples which propels drama, conflict and pathos that ensues in the process of their union. The deception is highlighted in th...

    Read More
  • Love In Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Love in Much Ado About Nothing “Love is a triumph of imagination over intelligence” This quote explains love in the simplest forms, love at first sight. A lot of people claim to be in love with someone without getting to actually know them. They like what they see on the surface without getting to know someone on personal levels. In th...

    Read More
  • Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

    ...English scaffold Essay: The themes of deception, mistaken identity, appearance and reality and love are clearly shown through Shakespeare in his comedy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and through the characters Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio and Hero. Deception is brought through by the friends of Benedick and Beatrice. Mistaken identity is evident...

    Read More
  • Masking Ends in Deception, Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Masking Ends In Deception? Shakespeare used many literary devices throughout his history to create timeless classics. Much Ado About Nothing is no exception. He used things such as themes, symbols and motifs to create this effect. Masking is the prominent motif in Much Ado About Nothing. It is seen many times over in this play. There are two...

    Read More
  • Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Much Ado About Nothing The play Much Ado About Nothing created by William Shakespeare is humorous and entertaining. It is about two people who love eachother, when someone sabotages their relationship. In the end they get married and live a very happy life. Although this play is comedic, deception, god or bad, is present throughout it. D...

    Read More
  • Much Ado About Nothing

    ...Much Ado About Nothing--the title sounds, to a modern ear, offhand and self-effacing; we might expect the play that follows such a beginning to be a marvelous piece of fluff and not much more. However, the play and the title itself are weightier than they initially seem. Shakespeare used two other such titles--Twelfth Night, or What You Will ...

    Read More
  • MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

    ...Analysis Much Ado About Nothing opens in a liminal situation with a war that has just ended. The men enter a "golden world" in Messina where the women are already located. In this situation, people fail to take things seriously, causing the war of the wombs to soon turn into a war of words. Benedick and Beatrice are the main examples of mal...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.