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Much Ado About Nothing Some Critics Have Seen Claudio as a 'problem'. How far do you see him as sympathetic figure?

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Introduction

Much Ado About Nothing Some Critics Have Seen Claudio as a 'problem'. How far do you see him as sympathetic figure? Claudio's gullibility and harmful obsession with his own reputation makes him a real difficulty for some readers. Andrew Lang called him, for example, 'a hateful young cub.' This is because Claudio is so insecure about himself that he has to conform to society's rules and expectations. During the Elizabethan era, a stereotypical male had to fight for his country, be honourable and have a good reputation all of which we see Claudio fighting to achieve throughout the play. Claudio has expectations placed upon him even before he is introduced into the play and this leads to the audience and the other characters having an image of what he will be like. This leaves Claudio no choice but to 'do in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion' whether it is a true image or not. Claudio is a character that some people can sympathise with while others will think of him as being rather irritating. An Elizabethan audience may well have shown more sympathy to Claudio when he is deceived into thinking that Hero has had sexual intercourse with another man. ...read more.

Middle

Claudio is made to believe that Don Pedro has betrayed his trust and is very hurt by this, 'And trust no agent.' Yet, he puts much more of the blame on women's nature. He feels as though women come between friendship and male bonds, 'For beauty is a witch against whose charms faith melteth into blood.' This makes Claudio even more insecure about life as he thinks that he has 'lost' a friend to love. Claudio's last words in the soliloquy, 'Farewell, therefore Hero' emphasise his pain. However, if he truly loves Hero then should he not be fighting for her instead of dismissing the fact that her loves her? This again shows his insecurity and inexperience. Claudio is so engrossed in trying to do the right thing and remain unashamed by society that he forgets his true feelings about Hero and his speech reveals that he is feeling what society would want him to feel. Claudio says, 'beauty is a witch,' which implies that he feels as though beauty is a bad thing and only skin deep. Yet, without having ever met Hero before he instantly appears to fall in love with her and if it was not her beauty he fell in love with what was it? ...read more.

Conclusion

Edward Woodward presented a more sympathetic view of Claudio than in other productions. He portrayed Claudio as showing 'genuine grief'. Claudio is shown to be na�ve again when Leonato asks Claudio to marry his brother's daughter in order to pay back Leonato for the way he treated Hero. This is very na�ve on Claudio's part because he should be questioning why Leonato wants him to do this instead of instantly agreeing to do it. Then again, this shows Claudio's remorse, as he is willing to respect Leonato's wishes. I do not think that Claudio's actions are any worse than that of Leonato or Don Pedro. Leonato, who is expected to be a more mature and wiser man, disowns his daughter instantly without even having heard the truth. I feel that Claudio's actions are quite understandable throughout the play and that if supposedly a wiser man, such as Leonato, believes Hero has had an affair then why should Claudio be blamed, as it is obvious that he is an inexperienced and repressed individual. After the end of the play, Claudio has an opportunity to change as he is young and has learnt from his past mistakes. On the other hand, Don Pedro and Leonato are older and therefore, it is much more difficult for them to change. Name: Reena Harsiani Subject: English Literature Tuition Centre 1 ...read more.

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