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An Exploration Of The Theme of Deception In much Ado About Nothing

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An Exploration Of The Theme of Deception In much Ado About Nothing In his play Much Ado about Nothing Shakespeare presents the theme of deception in a remarkably convincing way. He seems to be bringing to the fore the fact that deception is life changing and not always bad. That there are various forms of deception justifiable and unjustifiable. He also discusses self deception and accidental deception. Every character in the play takes part in deception in one form or other be it hero or Claudio or Beatrice or Benedick The theme of deception first appears in the scene 1.1 with the entry of Don john, who appears to be wearing a mask of deception as he makes polite but curt replies and immediately afterwards in scene 1.3 he pours out torrents of evil words about the very people in whose company he was earlier seen by the audience. These scenes along with the masked ball in scene 2.1 set the tone for the upcoming deceptions. Shakespeare Presents Don John's character as that of a self obsessed man, highlighted by his continuous use of the word "I ", whose deception of people is driven purely by hatred and revenge; his deceptions are mean and meant to cause destruction ...read more.


It is ironical that Hero's life is destroyed by deception and saved again by deception, though of a gentler form. It also can't be denied that it is hero's life that is affected the most by deception, and helps Shakespeare to bring about unexpected twists in the plot. Self Deception is another form of deception that is also discussed to some extent though not extensively in Much Ado About Nothing, and also the fact that things are not always what they appear to be. Beatrice appears to be a confident, and opinionated woman, but in some scenes she appears to be lonely as she is an orphan and therefore in many ways an outsider in Leonato's family for instance even though Leonato wants to see Beatrice married yet he does not appear as concerned about her marriage as he is about Hero's marriage. in my opinion, Beatrice's use of masculine, aggressive language " I would eat his heart in the market place" is probably to hide her true self which is far more softer and feminine. Beatrice and Benedick's hatred for each other on a superficial level is a form of self deception as well for they refuse to acknowledge their mutual love for each other, and use argumentative language, mocking each other to hide their true feelings for each other. ...read more.


His brutal public humiliation of Hero calling her a "Diane in her Orb", brings to fore his shallow and insensitive nature. It also goes on to show that the love between Claudio and Hero is very conditional. It reveals the true Beatrice who even though is opinionated yet not immune to love as she pretends to be, and the fact that deep down even she is feminine and desires a conventional married life. The fact that Leonato holds honour more important than his daughter reveals his true face, in the scene where Hero is publicly humiliated. The love between Beatrice and hero is tested by Claudio's accusation of Hero Beatrice's reaction leaves the audience in no doubt that the love between them is unconditional. It is ironical that Beatrice trusts hero more than her own father does. To conclude I think Shakespeare successfully manages to capture the various forms of deception, which are a part and parcel of all our lives, and is something that is sometimes almost necessary. He efficiently contrasts the benign form of deception and the malevolent form of deception. And uses deception as a thread to link other themes beautifully weaving these relatively thought provoking themes into the light-hearted comedy. Word Count: 1543 ...read more.

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