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The critic A. D. Lang said of Claudio that "he behaves as a hateful young cub throughout". Evaluate the validity of this reading of Claudio, taking contexts in account. How do you interpret his character?

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Introduction

The critic A. D. Lang said of Claudio that "he behaves as a hateful young cub throughout". Evaluate the validity of this reading of Claudio, taking contexts in account. How do you interpret his character? 'The figure of a lamb the feats of a lion' is Claudio described by the messenger in Act I Scene I, being young is a key defence for why he provokes hate in the audience. He is not yet experienced in life as those older than he is. A lamb is young and a lion ferocious, if you combine them they are the dispositions of a 'young cub'. However the messenger is referring to Claudio at war whereas A. D. Lang refers to him being this way throughout. A. D. Lang also calls him as 'hateful'. Hateful in this sense does not mean Claudio is full of hate but he provokes hate in the audience. The first thing Claudio asks Benedick is if he noticed 'the daughter of Signior Leoanto?' this is a very respectable way to refer to Hero and appropriate because in context, a woman was her father's property until she was married. However, it could be looked upon in a different way Claudio might be concerned with position and her fathers' status rather than Hero. Although in context the upper class did marry upper classes and they were concerned with wealth and status and this was acceptable. Claudio did not have to get to know Hero; people in those days did get married without knowing each other. ...read more.

Middle

He does not blame Don Pedro and does not get angry with him. However, he says 'for beauty is a witch' which leads 'faith' and changes it to passion. This suggests he is blaming Hero for being beautiful, he shows no anger towards Don Pedro who is his friend but Hero who is a total strange he implies is to blame. This is a very unfair thing to do and I disliked him for doing this but at the same time I do feel sympathetic towards him. He may not have been after Hero's money but he knew status was important and therefore says 'Farewell, therefore. Hero!' Telling Benedick 'I wish him joy of her'. Clearly, Claudio chooses his obedience to Don Pedro over his love for Hero. Claudio remains polite and nearly silent even though he is upset. However, when Claudio learns the truth he is silenced into shock that he doesn't even think to apologise to Don Pedro. He is very eager to get married Hero or very eager to inherit the wealth. I think he genuinely he wants to be with Hero and although wealth does matter Hero is more important to him. Claudio comes across are as a very nice character in Act II scene II he plays a significant part in the tricking of Benedick. Claudio is deceiving Benedick but for his benefit and he's not at all 'hateful' but caring. Benedick also is shown to be considerate and caring, as is Don Pedro who not only helps Claudio in the affairs of love but now also helps Benedick. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, it is conventional for Claudio to needed to love a woman that is beautiful, pure and wealthy and because he thought she was not he couldn't love her. In front of Leoanto Claudio is wordless because he realises that Leoanto was right. He ruined Hero's life and in his mind he thinks he has killed her. Claudio is prepared to take whatever punishment Leoanto presents him. Claudio performs all the actions of mourning Hero, paying a choir to sing a mournful chant at her tomb and also publishes her innocence. However, Leoanto also wants Claudio to marry his niece, who in reality is Leoanto's daughter, Claudio is instantly prepared to. However if he were truly in love, he would not be able to marry someone else but it could be argued that he had to because he owed it to Leoanto. By disgracing Hero she not only lost her honor but it killed her, in a symbolic sense, Hero does not died, although she is pure, Claudio's damning accusation has permanently besmirched her name. Moreover, this loss of honor poisoned Hero's whole family. When Claudio sees Hero, he is shocked and in disbelief, 'Another, Hero!' the way this is delivered could alter your opinion on weather he is happily shocked or disappointed. In the Branagh version he seems to be happily shocked and immediately takes her in his arms, it gives the impression that he truly loves her and I think because the genre is comedy it is delivered in a happy way. Even though it is a comedy drama it has serious situation but it remains lighthearted and has a happy ending. AS English Literature P25317 - 1 - ...read more.

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