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The role of deception in much ado about nothing by william shakespeare

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Deception in Much Ado about Nothing Much ado about nothing is set in a patriarchal world where women's honour is very important. They have little to their name and no inheritance so they must protect their honour. The theme of deception directly links to the patriarchal society in Shakespeare's time as shown throughout this play. Deception is important to this play as it links also with many of the other themes such as love and marriage. It is repeated in many of the scenes and has both positive and negative effects. In act 4 scene 1 deception appears in the form of the friar, holy man, who plans to deceive everyone. In act 5 scene 4 Claudio is deceived and is made to believe he is marrying Antonio's daughter. In the fourth act, the friar conspires to trick Claudio into believing Hero is dead. He says, 'maintain a mourning ostentation and perform all rites that appertain unto a burial...' this shows that even a man thought to be holy and righteous can be deceiving in this play. He is trying to make Claudio feel guilty and make him fall in love with Hero again. However, Don John is the main deceiver in this play and is the cause of Hero's slandering. He make Claudio think Hero has deceived him. ...read more.


however, Benedick misunderstands. Beatrice is trying to say, don't make a promise you can't keep- don't eat your word. He thinks she means his sword! He says, '...and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.' This shows how much he loves her as he began as a misogynist earlier in the play. Beatrice asks him to prove his love- by killing Claudio! He is so surprised he thinks she is joking. He says, 'ha! Not for the wide world!' this hurts Beatrice and she says there is no love in him. Beatrice wishes she were a man so she could kill Claudio, as a woman could not. She says, 'oh god! That I were a man, I would eat his heart in the market place.' This shows how much she hates Claudio. She goes on to insult every man saying, '...men are only turned into tongue and trim ones too.' This means that men are nothing but words- no action. This is partly directed at Benedick as he said he would do anything for her, yet he failed to accept killing Claudio. Beatrice then compares Claudio to Hercules, 'he is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it.' This shows the attitude in her time because even if a man lied he wouldn't lose his honour, like a woman would, and may even be considered valiant. ...read more.


This is a story where Jove turns himself into a bull to seduce Europa and he doesn't know that he is a God. This deception also has a positive outcome. Near the end of this scene Benedick and Beatrice discover that they were tricked into falling in love. Benedick says, 'why then your uncle, the prince and Claudio have been deceived. They swore you did.' And Beatrice says, 'why then my cousin, Margaret and Ursula are much deceived, for they did swear you did.' After they both say this they realise that it was not their friends who were deceived but they who were deceived! This yet again had a positive effect as they are married in the end. In conclusion, we have found that deception comes in all shapes and sizes in this play. It can also tell us more about Elizabethan times and how deception occurs in everyday life, through eavesdropping and jealousy. Deception plays a key role in linking different themes together and is also very important to the play. In act 5 scene 4 Beatrice says, 'no truly, but in friendly recompense' when Benedick asks her if she loves him. She is lying to Benedick and also to herself. And this shows that because we are too busy trying not to be deceived by those around us, we forget that the biggest deceivers to us is ourselves. Hareem Bhatti ?? ?? ?? ?? Hareem Bhatti-Sutton Grammar school ...read more.

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