There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. DON PEDRO. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks; Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing. Air. BENEDICK. Love, villainy, friendship, parent-child relationships, society and customs—Much Ado About Nothing touches on all of these. It presents a rich, ambiguous blend. Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. Much Ado About Nothing chronicles two pairs of lovers: Benedick and Beatrice (the main couple), and Claudio and Hero (the.
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You and your students can also like us on FACEBOOK: CSCTheYoungCompany. We hope you enjoy Much Ado About Nothing (MAAN)! Sincerely,. The Young. 1 / Much Ado. About Nothing by William Shakespeare .. 'I'll walk with you if you are handsome, and if you don't talk too much,'. Hero told him. 'I want to talk. PREFACE Much Ado About Nothing is a play in part about the informing pressures of community, pressures both constraining and enabling. While I knew that.
I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. However, physical desire is certainly not enough to be called true love as then a loving eye would fade as quickly as the physical beauty it adores.
This mental connection requires first of all knowing each other for only then respect and trust can evolve between two people. This statement is easily demonstrated by the example of the relationship of Claudio and Hero who have seen each other only once before the action of the play resulting in a fatal lack of trust which allows Don John to deceive Claudio twice.
The first deception takes place at the masquerade dance when Don John and Boracchio tell Claudio that Don Pedro would be wooing Hero for himself instead of Claudio as they agreed. However, this deception is simply dissolved by the explanation of Don Pedro that he never intended to breach their agreement, the second deception is much more far-reaching: Don John reports to Claudio and Don Pedro that Hero is unfaithful and shows them an arranged window scene of Hero's gentlewoman Margaret and Boracchio in Hero's chamber, making Margaret appear to be Hero sleeping with another man.
Again Claudio believes Don John without doubt and immediately accepts the false evidence not even considering Don John's first try to delude him. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him.
Trust and the discovery of the inner beauty of the beloved might be very important in a relationship, nonetheless love is not rational therefore one can not only love with the mind but with the heart. However, emotional attachment can not be chosen since feelings can be neither enforced nor permanently ignored; consequently love is always unconditional. Well said, i' faith, neighbour Verges: An honest soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!
I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you. Enter a Messenger. A church. HERO I do. HERO None, my lord. Why, then, some be of laughing, as, ah, ha, he! Father, by your leave: Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid, your daughter?
There, Leonato, take her back again: Give not this rotten orange to your friend; She's but the sign and semblance of her honour. Behold how like a maid she blushes here! O, what authority and show of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood as modest evidence To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid, By these exterior shows?
But she is none: She knows the heat of a luxurious bed; Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large; But, as a brother to his sister, show'd Bashful sincerity and comely love. I will write against it: You seem to me as Dian in her orb, As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; But you are more intemperate in your blood Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals That rage in savage sensuality.
HERO Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide? I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about To link my dear friend to a common stale. HERO True! O God! Is this the prince? Is this face Hero's? What kind of catechising call you this? Who can blot that name With any just reproach? What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. HERO I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. Leonato, I am sorry you must hear: Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment. But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.
HERO swoons. Sexton Which be the malefactors? Sexton But which are the offenders that are to be examined? What is your name, friend? Yours, sirrah? Masters, do you serve God? Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves; and it will go near to be thought so shortly.
How answer you for yourselves? Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear: Have you writ down, that they are none?
Sexton Master constable, you go not the way to examine: Let the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's name, accuse these men. First Watchman This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain. Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain.
I do not like thy look, I promise thee. Sexton What heard you him say else? Sexton What else, fellow? First Watchman And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly. Sexton What else? Watchman This is all.
Commentary Beatrice seems surprised that she has such a strong reputation for pride and disdain, and for being self-centered and unapproachable.
Just as Benedick did in the last scene, she completely reverses her negative view of marriage. And just as with Benedick, she was always much closer to loving him than she would ever acknowledge. Now she is pleased with the prospect of marrying Benedick, revealing how her deeper feelings differ from the way she appears to others.
Quiet, traditional Hero apparently finds pleasure here in criticizing her cousin within her hearing, probably in a rare opportunity to tease her. She may not have the courage to criticize her face to face. They have been best friends and indeed bedmates until now. Benedick admits to the others that he is a changed man, and the other men — all in on the plot to match him up with Beatrice — tease him about his sad expression and his newly shaven face, clear signs that he is in love.
He asks to speak to Leonato privately, 25 and they leave. Claudio comments to Don Pedro that Beatrice has by now overheard the contrived conversation between Hero and Margaret. Don John enters and asks to speak to his brother, suggesting Claudio will want to hear what he is reporting. Claudio vows to shame Hero publicly if in fact she is guilty of such misdeeds. Benedick has begun to recognize his love for Beatrice and has taken some tangible actions — like shaving off his beard that Beatrice does not like — to further the relationship.
Although Don Pedro was invited to remain at Messina for at least a month, he announces that he will leave for Aragon after the wedding of Claudio and Hero. He may feel that he and his men will be in the way of the newlyweds, or perhaps he never intended to stay too long. He suggests that Benedick accompany him since Benedick has no apparent reason to stay — probably a test of whether his plot to bring Benedick and Beatrice together is having any effect. Benedick immediately shows signs of his change of heart toward Beatrice, but he becomes impatient with the teasing by his friends and leaves to talk with Leonato.
The audience might wonder why he would do so publicly, reflecting poorly on himself in the process — he is being cuckolded — as well as on Hero. Why not just walk out or write her a note? But no, a public confrontation is what the immature Claudio chooses — resulting in a much better story than if he just walked away.
Borachio and Conrade appear and converse, unknowingly within eavesdropping range of the watchmen. Borachio tells Conrade of his romancing of Margaret dressed as Hero in sight of Claudio and Don Pedro and of the considerable reward Don John has promised him for this deception. The watchmen arrest the two men. Dogberry often thinks of one word but says another, suggesting he uses words beyond his true vocabulary in an effort to sound authoritative and educated.
As a result, he sometimes says the opposite of what he means.
In the film of the play, Michael Keaton portrays Dogberry as an object of ridicule, entering and exiting with Verges as if they were riding horses. And yet, is Dogberry really as incompetent and fuzzy-headed as he appears on first sight and hearing?
Perhaps Dogberry is more sly than inept. This present scene takes place the night before the wedding. The intervening days have certainly flown by, most of them apparently uneventful except for the eavesdropping scenes. Hero sends Ursula to bring Beatrice. Margaret is critical of what Hero has chosen to wear but 28 quickly backs off when Hero scolds her lightly. Margaret also teases Hero about Claudio and his soon-to-be presence in her bed. When Beatrice arrives, she says that she is not feeling well.
Margaret teases her that she is sick with love. Ursula returns to tell them that the men have come to take Hero to the church. Both Beatrice and Benedick are suffering through this important change in their mindsets. Perhaps this makes her edgy, so that she argues a bit with Hero about the choice of wedding clothes. Her conversation with Hero has sexual connotations the quips about the weight of a man , and her conversation with Beatrice has uncharacteristic bite to it as she teases Beatrice about Benedick.
Carduus benedictus was the Latin name for Holy Thistle, a popular general remedy of the day, especially for problems associated with the heart. You have some moral in this benedictus. They want to tell him about the two men they have arrested — Borachio and Conrade — and ask him to hold a hearing for their 29 testimony. Dogberry is so long-winded that Leonato becomes impatient and tells them to take statements from the prisoners and bring them to him after the wedding.
Dogberry and Verges prepare to question the prisoners at the jail. Consider what might have happened if Leonato, on his way to the wedding, had taken time to hear the testimony about the plot to dishonor Hero. Claudio asks Hero who appeared with her in her window last night, and she denies any such appearance. Don Pedro reports that he, Claudio, and Don John all saw her there. Hero faints, and the three accusers leave.
Surprisingly, Leonato immediately accepts the lies and wishes both himself and Hero dead. He rages against her while Beatrice maintains that Hero is innocent. Benedick wants to believe Beatrice. Benedick believes that Don John is somehow at the bottom of the false accusation rather than Claudio or Don Pedro.
Everyone agrees to carry out this new deception, hoping that Claudio will realize what he has done and return to grieve over her. Beatrice and Benedick are left alone. At last they proclaim their love for one another. Benedick then asks how to prove his love for Beatrice, and she asks him to kill Claudio. Margaret is not present at the wedding although we would expect her to attend her mistress at the wedding.
Because she does not hear the question about who was in the window the preceding night, Margaret cannot protest the accusation against her mistress, admitting it was she, Margaret, at the window with Borachio. As we knew from a preceding scene, Claudio and Don Pedro are prepared to denounce Hero, believing they have seen her infidelity with their own eyes. Don John twists the blade a little further in his pleasure at how well his conniving has worked.
He seems a weaker man for having been so readily taken in by his brother. Leonato demonstrates how susceptible he is to the opinions of others. He is so eager to have the wedding take place that he first asks for a short ceremony; later he tries to hasten the wedding along by putting words in the mouths of both Claudio and the friar. Beatrice emerges as the strongest character of all. Even in the moment of acknowledging her love for Benedick, her first 32 thought is for justice for Hero — by killing Claudio, the accuser.
In the midst of her fury about Hero, it is easy to miss the ardor of her confession of love for Benedick: Beatrice: I was about to protest [insist] I love you. Benedick: And do it with all thy heart.
Beatrice: I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest. Benedick is torn between his loyalties: He wants to support Beatrice, but he is loyal to his friends Claudio and Don Pedro, knowing they cannot have made this accusation without good reason.
Then, in the scene alone with Beatrice, he hardly knows how to console her and yet protect his friends. Just as the role of Beatrice meets its emotional peak in this scene, so does the role of Benedick, who must reflect conflicting loyalties and affections in a man who has been openly disdainful of relationships and love. Borachio does not deny this. The sexton tells all of them that Don John has secretly gone away and that Hero has died.
The prisoners first deny any wrongdoing when questioned by Dogberry, but after the specific evidence of watchman George Seacoal, their silence seems to be an admission of guilt. Less skilled playwrights tend to give depth of character only to the primary characters, using the secondary characters to move the plot forward in some way, but without distinction among those secondary roles. Even with the relatively brief appearances of Borachio and Conrade, we catch glimpses of significant differences between their personalities and attitudes.
Furthermore, in the next scene, Borachio freely confesses and, in fact, regrets his actions, expects punishment, and exonerates Margaret.
In earlier scenes, we have seen differences between the personalities and attitudes of Ursula and Margaret. Even the men of the watch were shown to be different from one another in their first scene Act III, Scene 3. In the present scene, their straightforward reports of few words solve the crime — in sharp contrast to the reports given by Dogberry and Verges.
He challenges Claudio to a duel in spite of their difference in age and their differing abilities with the sword. Antonio heatedly backs Leonato up. Don Pedro maintains that the accusation against Hero was true, and Leonato and Antonio leave them in disgust. Benedick arrives, and Claudio and Don Pedro tell him about the foolhardy challenge by Leonato and Antonio. Benedick ignores their lighthearted talk. They try to engage his humor by talking about Beatrice, but he continues to ignore their chatter.
He then accuses Claudio of having killed Hero by his humiliation of her and challenges him to a duel.
He tells Don Pedro that he will no longer be a member of his company and that Don John has run away. Benedick repeats his challenge to Claudio and leaves.
Just then, Dogberry and Verges bring in their prisoners in preparation for meeting with Leonato as governor and judge. Don Pedro and Claudio are stunned at this news, realizing that Hero was innocent and therefore falsely accused by them.
Leonato and Antonio appear with the sexton. Leonato first confronts Borachio, who readily admits his wrongdoing.
He commands them to tell everyone in Messina that she was falsely denounced and demands that they appear at her tomb that very night.
Leonato has one more task to undertake — to find Margaret and find out if she knew she was participating in this horrible plot. Borachio defends Margaret, saying she did not know she was doing anything wrong. Leonato thanks him for his efforts and asks him to leave the prisoners with him so they can confront Margaret.
Dogberry and Verges leave. Leonato leads the prisoners away to talk with Margaret. Commentary Several plot threads are brought together in this scene of frequent arrivals and departures. They know she is not dead but are prepared to say that she is. When Claudio and Don Pedro appear, they still think that they saw Hero being unfaithful and she was therefore justly accused.
When Benedick arrives, he does not know the details of the plot but feels sure Claudio and Don Pedro were set up by Don John.
He also pretends that Hero is dead. When Dogberry and Verges arrive, they know in their unique way about the plot set up by Don John, and they know that Borachio carried it out. They think Hero is dead, having been so informed by the sexton during the examination of the prisoners.
When Borachio confesses his part in the scene with Margaret, Claudio and Don Pedro are now fully informed about the plot but still think Hero dead, as does Borachio. Notice that Borachio puts 36 all the blame on Don John, although Borachio himself suggested the window scene.
In this scene, Borachio graciously clears Margaret for her part in the scene is he sincerely in love with Margaret? Left alone, Benedick tries the song he has written for Beatrice, admitting that writing poetry is really beyond him. Beatrice comes to him, curious about his challenge to Claudio. They continue in this playful conversation until Ursula arrives, summoning Beatrice to her uncle.
Benedick goes with them.
Beatrice and Benedick resume their earlier style of playful banter, simultaneously admitting and denying their love. Beatrice and Benedick finally learn that Don John was at the root of the denunciation of Hero, letting Borachio set up the window scene with Margaret.
So Benedick confirms his initial reaction, and Beatrice must recognize that Benedick was right in his defense of Claudio and Don Pedro. Recognizing how Claudio and Don Pedro have been tricked may help her accept Claudio as a future kinsman in marriage. First, a verse that Claudio has written is read aloud and hung on the tomb. The reading is followed by a song of mourning.