Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John

Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John

Length: 1098 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Character of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing  


   William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy in which he uses one of his more peculiar villains. The antagonist in this play is Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro. In this paper I will discuss the role of Don John as well as his motives and the character himself. I will also delve into Shakespeare's use of Don John as the antagonist. I will be comparing Don John to other characters in the play as well as to other villains in Shakespeare's works. While Don John does not spend a great deal of time on the stage in Much Ado About Nothing, he still plays a vital role in the plot of the play. The plan that he sets in motion is one of the two main stories within the play (the battle of wit between Beatrice and Benedict being the other).

Don John, as I mentioned before, is the bastard brother of Don Pedro. His illegitimacy is one of the factors that makes him altogether vile and hateful. He is bitter because of his social standing and at the beginning of the play is directly bitter and jealous of Claudio. We might find some reasoning into why Don John hates Claudio by what he says when speaking to Barrachio and Conrade in the first act. When finding out about Don Pedro's plot to help Claudio win the hand of Hero, Don John says:

"Come, come; let us thither: this may prove food to my displeasure. That young start up hath all the glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way." (Shakespeare 16)

While Shakespeare never actually distinguishes specific motives for Don John's hatred of Claudio, we can infer one of two possibilities from his use of the word "overthrow". The overthrow he refers to could be a military overthr...


... middle of paper ...


... in the face to Don John.

The character Don John is not a very complicated character. He is not a character that gets very much time on the stage either. You cannot deny, however, that he is one of the most evil and twisted characters that Shakespeare has ever come up with. I think that Don John is the perfect villain in every aspect of the word.

Works Cited

Hunter, G.K.   William Shakespeare: The Later Comedies.   Great Brittian:   Langman's Green & Co. Ltd.   1962

Shakespeare, William.   Much Ado About Nothing.   Cambridge:   At the University Press    1962

Shakespeare, William.   Hamlet.   New York and London:   W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.   1963

Shkespeare, William.   Much Ado About Nothing.   New Haven:   Yale University Press   1917

Spivack, Bernard.   Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil.   New York:   Columbia University Press   1958

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John

- The Character of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing      William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy in which he uses one of his more peculiar villains. The antagonist in this play is Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro. In this paper I will discuss the role of Don John as well as his motives and the character himself. I will also delve into Shakespeare's use of Don John as the antagonist. I will be comparing Don John to other characters in the play as well as to other villains in Shakespeare's works....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

The Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

- The Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing The Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy set in Messina, Italy. In this play there is a thin line between it being a comedy and a tragedy, the only thing that stops this play being a tragedy is the happy ending and the fact that no one really dies. Throughout the play there are a series of upsets within the relationships between characters. Don John, who is the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro, causes most of this upset and trouble....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)

Analyzing the Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

- Analyzing the Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing The play Much Ado About Nothing was written and performed in the Elizabethan period. It was set in Italy in a place called Messina. As expected the play has an happy ending with a marriage, as it is an comedy, except throughout the play you think it may end as an tragedy with lots of talk of death and misery. The mood swings from light comedy to dark tragedy. The play appealed to the Elizabethans because it mirrored life of that time....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Essay Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

- In the time of William Shakespeare, the words “nothing” and “noting” had little to no vocal distinction; the words sounded nearly alike when spoken aloud. This piece of knowledge reveals the cleverness in the title of Much Ado About Nothing, one of William Shakespeare’s classic comedies. The play is all about making something out of “nothing” due to “noting.” Misconceived noting causes chaos among the main characters, especially when these characters choose not to investigate these observations....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing, Marriage]

Strong Essays
1570 words (4.5 pages)

The Characters of Claudio and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- Much Ado About Nothing - The Characters of Claudio and Benedick       Shakespeare's comedy, `Much Ado About Nothing' is a play revolved around the love and friendships of two young couples, integrated with each other through both friendship and love. Love and marriage are the two most prominent ideas in Shakespeare's comedies. The two couples are Benedick and Beatrice, an unpredicted match as they appear to be quite the opposite and are forever arguing in their poetic banter. The other couple is Claudio and Hero, the two who seem madly in love yet Claudio's untrusting and naive side takes power at one stage, in which the couple's relationship seems destined to be doomed....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
2245 words (6.4 pages)

Essay Much Ado About Nothing: A Comedy with Deep Meaning

- Much Ado About Nothing:  A Comedy with Deep Meaning      Much Ado About Nothing--the title sounds, to a modern ear, offhand and self-effacing; we might expect the play that follows such a beginning to be a marvelous piece of fluff and not much more. However, the play and the title itself are weightier than they initially seem. Shakespeare used two other such titles--Twelfth Night, or What You Will and As You Like It--both of which send unexpected reverberations of meaning throughout their respective plays, the former with its reference to the Epiphany and the topsy-turvy world of a saturnalian celebration, and the latter with its implications about how the characters (and the audience it...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Theme of Deception in Much Ado About Nothing Essay

- Theme of Deception in Much Ado About Nothing Each of the main characters in Much Ado About Nothing is the victim of deception, and it is because they are deceived that they act in the ways that they do. Although the central deception is directed against Claudio in an attempt to destroy his relationship with Hero, it is the deceptions involving Beatrice and Benedick which provides the play's dramatic focus. Nearly every character in the play at some point has to make inferences from what he or she sees, has been told or overhears....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
1388 words (4 pages)

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Renaissance Italy Essay

- Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" takes place in Messina, a city-state of Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance was a period in European history believed to have been between AD 1300 and AD 1600 with a feudal society of agricultural economy and church dominated culture. It was during the Renaissance that Europe was transformed into a society dominated by central political institutions with education, arts and music heavily influenced by the Christian religion. In Italy, cities such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice flourished....   [tags: Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing]

Strong Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

Essay About Love in Much Ado About Nothing

- Much Ado About Nothing  Love Story             Shakespeare My first impression of Much Ado About Nothing is that it would be a love story.  Although it is categorised as a Shakespearean comedy, I found the many "funny" parts of the play were foggy and required you to read the scene over a few times before you understood them.  But then again, I had to read the whole scene over again a few times to understand anything.             All of the characters in Much Ado About Nothing seemed to develop a personality of their own from the very first scene.  It also helped that I saw the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing before we read the play so I could almost get a picture in my head as t...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Free Essays
378 words (1.1 pages)

Branagh's Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing Essays

- Branagh's Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing   Shakespeare's wonderful comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is an entertaining tale of the trials and tribulations of two pairs of lovers, who must face and overcome both malicious schemes plotted against them and also their own flaws and shortcomings before finding happiness together. Although clearly a comedy, the play is not without its darker moments. Don John plots to ruin Claudio's marriage; he nearly succeeds because Claudio, and most of the other men in the play, are too quick to judge Hero (and women in general) as innately deceitful....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]

Strong Essays
2319 words (6.6 pages)