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The whole of Much Ado About Nothing depends on illusions and deceptions: they are the foundation of the world of the play.

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Introduction

The whole of Much Ado About Nothing depends on illusions and deceptions: they are the foundation of the world of the play. In light of this quotation, examine the ways in which Shakespeare explores illusions and deceptions, in Much Ado About Nothing. You should include in your answer an examination of Act I Scenes 2 and 3. Much of the play Much Ado About Nothing is based on illusions and deceptions. The foundation of each new issue in the play is based on either an illusion or a deception created by Shakespeare. There are many illusions in this play two of which I will be closely looking at. The first is the illusion of Claudio seeing Hero as a maid even though he doesn't actually know her well enough, which leads to the shaming scene and finally the joint illusion of Hero pretending to be dead. The second is the illusion where Antonio and Leonato misunderstand the motives of Don Pedro and think that Don Pedro intends to woo Hero for himself, therefore asking her hand in marriage. The deceptions in the play are that of Don John's deception by making Claudio believe that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself. ...read more.

Middle

Ironically in the next scene Borachio interprets a different story to Don John, saying that Don Pedro intends to woo for himself and then hand Hero to Claudio. Shakespeare maybe showing us here that eavesdropping or just hearing by chance can lead to trouble and undoubtedly illusions. However on the other hand it may be just a tool used to encourage the illusions in the play, therefore adding to the foundation of the world of the play. A deception can be defined as a cause to believe something which is not true and is also exactly what Don john succeeds in doing with Claudio. Claudio being the more conventional character in this play and therefore very vulnerable to new ideas is fooled by Don johns deception and believes him when he says that Don Pedro is wooing for himself. Although it could be argued that he only believes this because he pretended to be Benedick instead of himself, and that maybe Don John would not have told him if he knew it was Claudio. Even so, he did pretend to be Benedick and so faced the consequence, which was to find that Don Pedro was only wooing hero for himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again this tells us that much of the play's foundation is based on deceptions and illusions, which help move the play onwards and finally end the play. One thing, which I noticed, is that most of these deceptions and illusions are tragic, not comedic which brings me onto the genre of the play. Much Ado About Nothing contains many comedic incidents and many tragic incidents. However there is more comedy in the play than tragedy, which leads me to believe that this play is a comedy, nonetheless it could be argued that the shaming scene is so tragic and melodramatic that it is more of a tragedy than a comedy. From looking at the play with close analysis, there are many more comedic characters and events than tragic ones. Some could argue that Don John is the tragic character however, Don John is such a typical character and he follows so many conventionalised formalities that he becomes almost a comedic character. As are Benedick and Beatrice, and Dogberry with his watchmen. In conclusion, Shakespeare has used illusions and deceptions as a foundation to be built upon which slowly forms the play. Some illusions and deceptions are humorous however others are more tragic or lead to tragic events. Overall the play does depend on illusions and deceptions which are the foundation of the world of the play. ...read more.

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