Trickery and Deception in Much Ado about Nothing

analytical Essay
1678 words
1678 words


An exploration of Shakespeare’s presentation of trickery and deception in his play ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’

In William Shakespeare’s play ‘Much Ado about Nothing’, there are many instances of trickery and deception, which seem to surround the whole of the play.

These instances are as follows: Don Pedro wooing hero for Claudio, Don Pedro wooing hero for himself, Claudio pretending to be Benedick to find out information from Don John and Borachio, Don John and Borachio both know that Claudio is not Benedick but trick Claudio into thinking that they believe that Claudio is in fact Benedick, Benedick pretending to be somebody else whilst talking to Beatrice, Beatrice pretending to believe that she is in fact talking to Benedick, Beatrice having romantic feelings for Benedick, Benedick having romantic feelings for Beatrice, Beatrice not having romantic feelings for Benedick, Benedick not having romantic feelings for Beatrice, Hero is unfaithful with Borachio, Hero is dead, and Antonio having another daughter.

Don John plays an essential role for nearly all of the trickery and deception in this play. He acts like a catalyst and an instigator for trouble, whose sole aim is to marmalize the love and happiness between Claudio and Hero. Shakespeare uses foreshadowing of Don John’s villainy to display the trickery and deception:

’It better fits my blood to be distained of all

than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any, in this,

though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it

must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am

trusted with a muzzle and enfranchized with a clog:

therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had

my mouth, I would bite, if I had my liberty, I would do

my liking. In the meantime, let me be that I am, and

seek not to alter me.’

- Don John.

o (Act I, Scene III: Lines: 22-30).

The first instance of trickery and deception is when Don Pedro tells Claudio that he will woo Hero for Claudio to marry her in Act I Scene I. Tricking her to believe that Don Pedro himself has feelings for Hero:

‘I will assume thy part in disguise,

and tell fair Hero that I am Claudio,

and in her bosom I’ll unclasp my heart,

and take her hearing prisoner with the force

and strong encounter of my amorous tale.

Then after, to her father will I break:

and the conclusion is, she shall be thine.’

- Don Pedro.

o (Act I, Scene I: Lines 276 - 282).

It is reported to Don John by Borachio that “…The Prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how don pedro tricked claudio to believe that he has feelings for hero in act i scene i.
  • Analyzes how borachio tells don john that the prince should woo hero for himself and give her to count claudio.
  • Analyzes how don pedro and borachio deceive claudio into believing that he is in love with hero and wooing her for himself.
  • Analyzes how don john refers to the lady as a whore, and advises claudio not to disagree with his view before the evidence is presented to him.
  • Opines that everyone at the congregation is shocked by this revelation. benedick shows that he is uncertain about the whole affair.
  • Opines that don john and borachio were solely responsible for the conspiracy that hero had been adulterous when she hadn’t by dogberry and his watchmen in act iii scene iii.
  • Analyzes how conrade helps the watchmen to find out more about this plot by asking borachio if ‘thought they margaret was hero?’
  • Narrates how borachio and conrade were arrested by the watchmen after hearing this.
  • Describes how borachio and conrade are led to prison by the watch, where they confess everything about the plot to destroy the relationship between claudio and hero.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses foreshadowing of don john's villainy to display trickery and deception in his play 'much ado about nothing'.
  • Analyzes how don john and borachio try to sabotage claudio and hero's relationship in "much ado".
  • Analyzes how claudio and don pedro shame hero for supposedly not being a virgin, causing leonarto to be ashamed of his daughter.
  • Analyzes how leonarto tries to defend his daughter by asking claudio what do you mean, my lord?
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