Relationships Between Men and Women

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In Much Ado About Nothing the main story line is about Hero and Claudio falling in love and the sub plot is Beatrice and Benedick’s merry war of the sexes. The conflict in the play is that Don John creates an appearance that Hero has been unfaithful to Claudio. The main theme of the play is love and comedy. Love is a theme in this play because two couples falling in love. Comedy is also a theme in this play because of Beatrice and Benedick’s verbal exchanges moreover the comedy act with Dogberry and Verges and how the other protagonists try to trick Benedick and Beatrice and convincing that they are madly in love with each other. Also in this play, out of all the men Benedick is the most aware of becoming a cuckold because like any other man he scared that he might ruin his ego and lose his masculine pride. A cuckold is when a man believes that marriage is a trap where husbands are controlled and deceived. Claudio, Don Pedro and Benedick all share this suspicion at the beginning. The main plot in Much Ado About Nothing is the story line of Hero and Claudio. Claudio is the heart throb in this play and he is easily persuaded. This is proven when he first sees Hero and says he is in love with her and then Don John tricks him by saying Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself. Hero is the fair woman in the play. She is obedient to her father and she returns the love of Claudio almost immediately. Claudio is attracted to Hero for her beauty: “In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that I ever looked on. ” This quotes shows that Claudio has seen his so called love, at first sight. Claudio explains to Don Pedro and Benedick about how he wants to marry her: “If Hero would be my wife. At this point Benedick cannot believe that Claudio ah s gone down the path of love. Benedick though that all of them, Claudio, Don Pedro and himself, will stay a bachelor until the day they died. Don Pedro has agreed that he would woo Hero for Claudio and ask if she would marry Claudio. When they are at the masquerade ball, Don John goes over to the easily persuaded Claudio and tells him that his brother, Don Pedro is going to woo Hero for himself: “Signor, you are very near my brother in his love. He is enamoured on Hero. I pray you dissuade him from her. She is no equal fro his birth. You may do the part of an honest man in it. ” Claudio was shocked when he heard this because he was very close to Don Pedro and he trusted him and he actually thought that Don Pedro was not a man like his brother. However, Claudio should have known that Don John is a bad man and he will try and cause trouble. Claudio is lead on to believe that Don Pedro is going to court Hero for himself. But the audience knows that Don John is a bad apple. When Claudio confronts Don Pedro about how he is going to court Hero for himself. This is the part where Shakespeare uses dramatic irony. This is when the audience know more than the characters. After Claudio has been misled by Don John, Don Pedro asks on behalf of Claudio for Hero’s hand in marriage. In this part of the play, Hero shows the respect she has for her father by her father replying to Claudio’s marriage proposal: “Count, take of me my daughter and with her my fortunes. His grace hath made the match, and all grace say amen to it. In this dialogue Leonato is telling Claudio that he can take his daughter as his wife and with that he can take the fortune that comes with her. Leonato also states that Don Pedro has made the match and he wants God to bless this relationship, hoping it would go smoothly. At this point Don John is upset that he hasn’t caused any damage. The wedding day arrives and Claudio and Don Pedro have their plan to show how Hero has been unfaithful: “Not to be married, not to knit my soul to an approved wanton. ” At this point Claudio is saying that he does not want to be married to a women who a slept with many men. The audience knows that Hero is falsely accused of something she did not do. At this part Hero and Claudio’s relationship starts to break because the easily mislead Claudio has broken Hero’s heart and publicly humiliated Hero. After this commotion, Hero is found innocent. Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship is a rocky one. Firstly they start by shouting abuse at each other: “What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet living? ” Benedick has a hatred for Beatrice and wants her dead at the beginning of it and the sarcastic comments start. Beatrice and Benedick don’t know what the future holds for them. At this moment you would call their relationship a merry war. The phrase merry war is an oxymoron. An oxymoron is when two clashing words come together. When we say their relationship is a merry war this means that when they talk to each other it makes other people laugh but it’s a feud between them. Don Pedro is cupid in this relationship. He is cupid because he plans to bring Benedick and Beatrice together as in fall in love. Benedick who fears to become a cuckold s going to fall in love. Leonato, Claudio and Don Pedro all plan to trick Benedick so he believes that Beatrice is in love with him and Hero and Ursula plan to trick Beatrice that Benedick is in love with Beatrice. In the play Benedick gets tricked first and the setting of this scene is that Benedick is having a walk and Claudio, Don Pedro and Leonato get in to position to trick him. Same with Beatrice, she is on walk and Ursula and Hero are talking loudly to each other thinking that no-one is listening but they know that Beatrice is close by listening. Even though Beatrice is a strong character she can be tricked. This is proven when she instantly falls in love with Benedick, but she relies on the truth of her cousin, Hero. The same situation goes for Benedick he can also be tricked in to loving Beatrice. They don’t realise that they love each other until the incident where Hero is humiliated in front of everyone by Claudio. This is when Benedick tells Beatrice that he is in love with her and Beatrice returns his love. At this point, Benedick shows his loyalty to his Beatrice by sticking by her when Hero is falsely accused. Hero and Leonato is a wonderful father-daughter relationship. Hero is dependent on her father for guidance because her mother is not mentioned in the play. Hero is very obedient to her father and listens to him. This is proven when Hero is proposed to and Leonato replies for Hero to Claudio. Leonato is the head of the house hold and makes sure that everything is running well. He is also good friends with his brother Antonio and he consults most things with him. Leonato is a good father because he knows how much Hero loved Claudio therefore he goes on to trick Claudio into marrying Hero. Leonato disowned his only daughter when Hero was accused of betraying Claudio. In conclusion, the quote: “The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war” by John Lyly, sums up what the play is about and the relationship that is in the play. The quote by John Lyly says that love cannot be fair and there is always going to be some kind of problem causing it to go wrong. For example Beatrice and Benedick started of hating each other in the beginning and then they got married. Then Claudio falsely accuses Hero for being unfaithful but she still forgave him for it though.

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