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Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing: Views Upon Deceit's

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Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing: Views Upon Deceit's

The word deceit means to give an appearance or an impression that is

different from the true one. Deceit is a recurring theme in Much Ado

About Nothing. Characters are constantly deceiving each other or being

deceived, be it for good or bad means. Without this continual theme of

deception the plot would not be able to unfold.

The theme of deception is revealed early on in the play when Don

Pedro, the prince, agrees to woo Hero in place of Claudio.

‘I will assume thy part in some disguise

And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,’

Don Pedro also tells Claudio that ‘we are the only love gods’ meaning

that nothing will happen between Claudio and Hero unless he

intervenes. Here deception is used by Claudio and Don Pedro as a way

to win Hero despite Claudio’s seemingly shy and sensitive nature.

Shakespeare could have constructed Claudio’s character in this way as

a way of illustrating the difference between the romantic, sensitive

Claudio and the more outgoing and vibrant Don Pedro. Don Pedro

successfully manages to woo Hero who happily agrees to marry Claudio,

creating a happy resolution to Don Pedro’s trickery; this then gives

the audience an optimistic impression of Don Pedro.

There is a constant tension between deception as a means to a good end

and as a means to a bad end. This is shown clearly when Don John

learns of Don Pedro’s plan to woo Hero in place of Claudio. Knowing

this, Don Jon plans to mislead Claudio, causing him to believe that

the prince has wooed Hero for himself. This creates a tension in the

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...eas the other

deceits where created to get Beatrice and Benedick to realise there

love for each other.

In conclusion it could be said that the deceit in the plot of Much Ado

About Nothing is not inherently evil as the main deceits, the tricking

of Beatrice and Benedick to realise there true feelings for each other

was necessary for the plot to develop but it was also done out of

desperation of the other characters. The only deceit that could be

portrayed as evil is Borachio’s deception which was created due to the

jealousy of Don John for Claudio; this was due to how Claudio was now

favoured by his brother, the prince, Don Pedro.

Bibliography:

* Cambridge Student Guide on Much Ado about Nothing,

* York advanced notes on Much Ado about Nothing,

* York advanced notes on William Shakespeare
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