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Claudio and Hero

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 5 (1043 words)
Categories: Hero
Downloads: 4
Views: 3

The language between the two is also similar to fencing with tongues as Benedick describes Beatrice’s words as ‘a whole army shooting against me’. Benedick also describes her ‘words like daggers’ suggesting that her opinion injures him personally and not just his pride and the other characters notice this and decide that behind their masks they do appreciate each other. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro to set a “lover’s trap” for Benedick who is an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice who believes that no man is equal to her.

Together they are viewed as ‘too wise to woo peaceably,’ and this clears the stage for a comic deception held where the two characters are set up to overhear Leonato talking to Don Pedro of the secret love of each towards the other, and this feeds to the vanity of both Beatrice and Benedick who immediately decide that they do love each other.

This is an example of how Messinian society has ‘played cupid’ and influenced the susceptible minds of others, and the cupid in itself shows conflict through his bow an arrow that ironically bring the two opposites together.

The other love-story within the play is that of the relationship between Claudio and Hero. Unlike the older and more worldly Beatrice and Benedick who view love with a ‘soldiers eye’ and that it is a fatal malady, Claudio and Hero are innocently besotted with each other via appearance and social status. Claudio is viewed as eligible to wed well as he has proved himself on the battlefield as the ‘body of a lamb doing the feats of a lion,’ indicating also that he has youth, and Hero is the beautiful daughter of Leonato, a highly respected lord.

The match makes political sense yet the two characters are swept away with the idea of love. The end of act 1 scene 1 ends with romance as Benedick and Claudio are ‘noting’ Hero. Claudio describes her as his ‘jewel,’ however this conveys possession and wealth and the idea that a woman is almost for sale. Shakespeare not only compares the contrasting views of the worldly Benedick to the nai?? ve Claudio with language but also within his writing technique.

Moving from Beatrice and Benedick’s intercourse of stabbing wit and short bursts of prose into the more ponderous heartfelt rhythms of blank verse introduces the audience to the romantic side of Claudio. This technique to illustrate a change of mood is also used in the character development of Beatrice and Benedick as they begin to fall in love with one another. Initially starting in prose which is the natural flow of language with short monosyllabic puncturing words which drip with sarcasm Beatrice and Benedick confront each other, yet as their relationship blooms their language changes to blank verse.

This style is longer and poetic with the iambic pentameter tempo containing 5 stress lines creating a rhythm. This is the standard technique used for writing of love in Elizabethan theatre as the sentences are longer and allow for more description than prose. Shakespeare uses assonance and alliteration within blank verse, ‘come thronging soft and delicate desires,’ to paint the image of a love sick Claudio. Shakespeare presents the character of Don John to continue the theme of conflict within the play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ but with a less comedic and more sinister role.

Throughout the play Don John acts as a catalyst to inspire collisions between other characters and he is portrayed as a machiavellian and deviant. Don John is the illegitimate brother of the Prince of Aragon, Don Pedro and so is disinherited from title and power, leaving him lacking self esteem and resentful. Unlike the other gaudy characters of his brothers company who put on false pretences and flattering shows to hide behind, Don John is very honest about his malcontent, machiavellian characteristics which is paradoxical, and an example of Shakespeare’s genius.

Don John’s aim is to gain power through deception and deceit and will attack his enemies subtly but ruthlessly, bringing a dark shadow to the comedy. Don John has very few lines within the play which shows that Shakespeare relies on the reaction of others to create drama. His silence is not shy but devious and he is always ‘noting’ the movements of others, which reflects the title of the play, and when talking privately with Borachio he declares that he is a ‘plain dealing villain,’ which actually informs the audience of his sinister character.

Don John puts the comedy on edge of a tragedy by undermining the naivety of Claudio and leading him to believe that Hero has been unfaithful to him. She is exploited in this semblance and ‘seeming truth,’ through which Don John is able to convince Claudio’s insecure character into an extreme jealousy and his true youth and inexperience is revealed as he jumps to conclusions and takes rash actions in defence of his own honour. Not only is Claudio’s naivety exposed, but that the true nature of his ‘love’ for Hero was farcical as he doesn’t trust her.

The audience questions his valour and that perhaps he truly is merely the body of a lamb. The idea of Claudio being a lamb is supported by the fact that he is easily led by Don John and will follow the crowd to condemn Hero, and by believing her chastity broken sets out to punish her in order to retain his respect. Unaware of the consequences of his actions he publicly condemns her at the wedding and is lead to believe that she is dead form the blow. This again reflects Messinian society where people take what they see to be true and Don John manipulates this in Claudio’s innocence.

Benedick notes Claudio’s actions with disdain and confronts him, ‘you are a villain,’ and also recognises that it is due to his naivety by commenting ‘lord lack-beard,’ indicating that Claudio is still a boy. Don John throws light upon uncomfortable truths for example the relation ship between Leonato and his daughter into which he is a catalyst. For a woman to lose her honour by having sexual relations before marriage meant that she would lose all social standing and moreover pollute the woman’s whole family.

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Claudio and Hero. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/claudio-and-hero-8035-new-essay

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