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How does deception play an important role in

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How does deception play an important role in "Much Ado About Nothing"? Deception is the aspect of Much Ado About Nothing which enables Shakespeare to hold the interest of his audience. The play purports to be a light-humoured comedy full of fun and entertaining images. However, it has moments of gravity and, in places, a darker plot almost approaching tragedy, is exposed to the audience. It emerges as a story of a shallow world, full of weak characters. Deception is a pivotal part of the plot - it is what makes the story revolve and what keeps the attention of the audience. The title of the play itself suggests the significance of deception in the play. In Elizabethan times, the word 'nothing' was pronounced 'noting'. This is a pun because noting means how things appear to people. The whole play is about how things appear to be other than they are. Also, the play does involve a lot of fuss over nothing, there are no serious incidents (apart from Don John's wrongdoings which themselves amount to nothing). This pun is relevant in that there are many incidents of na�ve noting which makes the plot. Shakespeare keeps returning to this idea and he continually uses the words 'noting' and 'nothing'. Claudio: Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato? Benedick: I noted her not but I looked on her. ...read more.


Claudio instantly believes Don John, despite the fact that he does not know him, and he becomes upset by this discovery. The second couple to have a main plot in the play, Benedick and Beatrice . initially appear to detest one another although there is some indication even now that they do indeed have feelings towards one another. When talking to Claudio about Hero, he exposes a hint of his emotion towards her, "(Beatrice) exceeds her (Hero) in as much beauty as the first of May does the last of December." Beatrice also enquires after Benedick upon hearing of the returning of the men. This indicates that she shows some sort of affection towards his condition after the battle. "I pray you, is Signor Mountanto (referring to Benedick) returned from the wars or no?" Interestingly, the only person who originally notices the affection between the two of them is Don Pedro. He is not deceived by Benedick's apparent hatred for Beatrice and for women in general, "I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love." Don Pedro also points out their fondness of one another before anybody else, "She were a pleasant wife for Benedick." The others see this as a preposterous idea at first, Leonato being the first to respond, "They would talk themselves mad." There is an incident of deception on Claudio and Hero's wedding night. ...read more.


This has a similar effect to the puns for some of the audience which makes the uncertain of the situation making them more interested. In the end, Claudio (still under the impression that Hero has died) begs for Leonato's forgiveness (Leonato being Hero's father). Leonato forgives him but makes him marry his niece, Leonato knows all along that it will be Hero. Claudio does not realise that it is Hero until the wedding day when she takes off her veil showing him that she is alive and ending the deception. This is a symbolic ending to the play, the veil which obscures reality is removed revealing the truth. At the end of the play, there is no further deception, everything has been untied and now even Benedick exposes himself to ridicule, "A college of wit crackers cannot flout me of my humour." His final comment in the play is about men and women "Prince, thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife. There is no staff more reverend than one tipped with a horn." Deception makes things seem other than they are, and in the plot, lack of sober judgement and inexperienced noting of matters is what causes some moments of enormity in the play. The title of the play is deceiving in that the actual play involves many happenings; the plot is filled with action, albeit as a new act of deception, a battle in the merry war between Benedick and Beatrice or a song and dance. Deception is the key to excitement and captivation in a play, as Shakespeare evidently appreciated. ...read more.

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