Trickery and Deception in Much Ado about Nothing

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Incomplete 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.

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