Much Ado about Nothing essay

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Much ado about nothing is a play that was written by William Shakespeare in the 1600s. It revolves around two couples the first one being Claudio and Hero and the other, Benedick and Beatrice. Claudio and Hero are in love with each other and they show it in every way. Benedick and Beatrice however spend most time scorning anything to do with love and romance as well as scorning each other in what the book refers to as a merry war. Ironically Benedick and Beatrice are set up to confess their love for each other while the same trickery makes Claudio reject Hero on their wedding day. This is nonetheless sorted out as Don John the bad trickster is captured and the two couples are happily wedded.

Act III: Scene I

The scene is set up in Leonato's garden and Hero plans to ensure that Beatrice falls in love with Benedick. To do this Hero sends Margaret, her attendant to secretly alert Beatrice then he and Ursula walk down the path showering praise on Benedick all the time ensuring that Beatrice could hear them from her hiding place. Hero states that her lover Claudio told her of Benedick's  love towards Beatrice but she was of the view that telling Beatrice would not be wise because she would only make fun of Benedick. After hearing all the praises bestowed on Benedick and about his love for her, Beatrice decides to get over her pride and to reciprocate Benedicks love.

Scene II

This scene starts with Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick and Leonato conversing in Leonato's  guest room. Benedick tells the rest that he is a changed man and Claudio immediately guesses that he had to be in love. This is because he looked more fashionable and he was careful with his dressing. Then Don John joins them and requests to speak to Don Pedro and Claudio in private. He tells them that he had knowledge of Hero disloyalty to Claudio and invites the two men to watch Hero that night with her other partner. Claudio vows that should he witness Hero being unfaithful to him, he would embarrass her publicly on their wedding day that was set to be the day after. Don Pedro states that just like he helped Claudio Obtain Hero, he would help him disgrace her.

Scene III

This scene starts in the street adjacent Leonato's house with Dogberry and Verges, the master constables of the town, talking to many men with the intention of picking those who were fittest to watch the street that night. They pick Seacole and two other men for they could read and write, then instruct them to let nobody pass and to keep an attentive eye on Leonato's house where people were preparing for the next day's wedding ceremony. Dogberry and Verges exit and then enters Conrade and Borachio. Borachio narrates how he had earned a thousand ducats from Don John. While telling the story Seacole hears them and instructs his fellow watchmen to hide and be quiet. Borachio proceeds with story revealing that Don John had in fact brought Don Pedro and Claudio to Hero house where they had witnessed him (Borachio) bidding goodnight to Margaret and mistook her for Hero. Claudio went off outraged and vowing to embarrass Hero and cancel their wedding the next day. At that point the watchmen stepped forward and arrested Borachio and Conrade. 

Act IV: Scene I

The scene starts in church where people are gathered to witness the marital union of Hero and Claudio. Frair Francis leads the ceremony by and requests anybody knowing of anything that would be a hindrance to the union to speak. It is then that Claudio rejects Hero calling her a rotten orange and asks Leonato to take back his daughter. Claudio asks Hero to say the name of the man she had been with the night before and after Hero denies being with any man that night Claudio tells of how he, Don Pedro and Don John has witnessed her being unfaithful, they exit the scene. Appalled by the charges Hero collapses and faints. With Hero on the ground as though she were dead Leonato furiously states that he would prefer death to take her because of the shame she had brought him.

Beatrice is however convinced that her Hero is innocent and that she was but a victim of a malicious trick. Frair Francis also believes that Hero is innocent and he comes up with a plan that would help test Claudio's love for her. He asks Leonato to tell people that Hero died due to the shock that hit her and while her burial is held she would hide in the house. The friar hopes that Claudio would be moved by news of the death as well as his contribution to it and thus he would feel remorseful and his love could be tested by how heartily he mourns. Hero is led into the house leaving Benedick and Beatrice behind. Beatrice is overwhelmed by fury and wishes for man to avenge for her cousin. Benedick confesses his love and inquires on what he can do for her. She asks him to kill Claudio which he refuses immediately causing her to turn as if to leave. Holding her back he assures her that he will get Claudio to account for his wrongs.

Scene II

This scene is in Prison where Dogberry, Verges and a Sexton question Barochio and Conrade. Their names are taken down and the watchmen are called to tell of how they overheard Barochio and Conrade talking about their part in the scheme that led to the public shaming of a supposedly disloyal Hero. The sexton informs them that Hero had died due to the shock resulting from the shaming and Don John had fled the city. He then orders that Barochio and Conrade be taken before Leonato.

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