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Discuss And Explain: In what ways could Act 4, Scene 1 be said to be dramatically significant?

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Discuss And Explain: In what ways could Act 4, Scene 1 be said to be dramatically significant? Act 4 in the romantic comedy 'Much ado about nothing' is of great dramatic significance to the whole play, as it is in Scene 1 where Shakespeare brings out the different sides of the characters to illustrate the complexities of love and relationships. Act 4 Scene 1 is clustered with different incidents and in this essay, I will go through each event and describe its importance to the play as a whole. I will do this by showing how (with the use of language) Shakespeare expresses the feelings of his characters and uses theatrical stage actions to emphasize their emotions. The scene begins with Claudio's accusation of Hero, who so far, throughout the play has been seen as an honest and honourable woman. However Claudio accuses Hero that she is not what he thought of her 'But you are more intemperate in your blood, Than Venus or those pampered animals that rage in savage sensuality. This is shocking and Shakespeare prepares its audience for a scene which represents a turning point for his characters lives through these remarkable personality changes, as Claudio has never acted like that towards Hero earlier in the play. However Claudia's is a gullible and innocent character. A reason for this previously in the play, Claudio is mislead by Don John. Don John tells him and swears that Don Pedro has enticed Hero, not for Claudia but himself: "...I heard him swear his affection..." ...read more.


Leonato act in responses with anger and humiliation to Hero, but then to his family name and reputation and how it has it appears that it has been ruined. Leonato depicts the disgrace and dishonor, '...Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea Hath drops too few to wash her clean again, And salt too little which may season give To her foul, tainted flesh..." This last line refers to the Elizabethan audience who used salt to protect their rotten and decayed meat. The second incident, centers on Leonato's self-pitying condemnation of Hero, which is surprising because you would expect that he explore the accusations of which his daughter has been condemned of but he verses on his own feelings and actions. 'Grieved I, I had but one? Child I or that at frugal nature's frame? O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?' Leonato also mentions in one of his speech's his apprehension for himself, "...And mine that I was proud on; mine so much That I myself was to myself not mine..." this statement means that he was too busy and occupied caring about his loving daughter, Hero that he forget to spend time caring for himself. One last mention of another one of Leonato's long speeches about how Hero has put shame and shame in his family name. Shakespeare constantly makes Leonato mention "...I..." This is because it shows that ranking and status in Leonato's position is much more important than his daughter's own blood. ...read more.


If Act 4 Scene 1 was to be performed out, it would have been done in the evening and during the early afternoon. There were many reasons for this, firstly they, where the stage was still light because they did not have the technology of lighting or sound in those days. Also people could leave while it was safe and light on the streets because at night it would become violent, aggressive and dangerous. It would also be more modest to modern day theatre productions as actors would have to improvise props and scenery. Costumes would be designed to reflect the character's social position and status. Shakespeare performances were not only done on stages in theaters. They were done in other places such as halls in the houses of the rich and courtyards etc. The problem was that the cast of the play would have to improvise their acting and actions according to the scenery. However the cast did carry some props such as swords. In conclusion, Act 4 scene 1 is extremely dramatically significant to the play as a whole as it is a turning point for the characters. Each character exposes and reveals a new unknown face except Don John. Shakespeare's does that by using influential language and vivid images. Furthermore he associates Act 4 Scene 1 with the previous scenes and he uses strong words and image. This then results in a creation of a different atmosphere and making it a dramatically different and important scene in terms of the whole play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Maisa Ahmad 10G English- 'Much Ado About Nothing' Coursework ...read more.

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