“MuchAdo about Nothing” is a romantic play which was written in the late15th century as it may be recorded. The play though is about love,the author’s approach about the issue is not the same as he tacklesthe issue in his other writings. Here, he looks like he is poking funat the topic rather than supporting it.
Fromthe first scene of the play, it is evident that there was a war atthat time, and several characters went participating in it. DonPedro, the Prince of Aragon, returns from war victorious and seeksrefuge in Messina. At Messina, Governor Leonardo welcomes them withopen arms following their victory at the war. The entry of men intothat town suddenly stirs up some romance activities as people startfalling in love. Claudio falls in love with the Hero while Beatricefalls for her old flame Benedick, the man she loves to hate. Thisdoes not please Don John, the brother of Don Pedro, who was defeatedat the battle and vows to thwart the happiness of Claudio and Hero(Shakespeare,et al. 1936).
GovernorLeonardo after discovering that her daughter Hero is in love withClaudio, he gives a go ahead for the two to get married and eventells them to get married within a week. This meant that the evil DonJohn often described as bastard had only one week to ruin themarriage since he was in for revenge because of the defeat at thebattle. They quickly devise a plan that will stage Hero as unfaithfulto Claudio. They want Hero to be seen as if he is cheating on Claudioon the eve of their wedding which will break his heart hence makingthe wedding plans not to proceed as scheduled.
Atthe dawn of the wedding, the evil Don John finalizes his maliciousintents with his men of portraying Hero as unfaithful. They finallymeet Claudio that night before the wedding and tell him of theinfidelity Hero had committed. Claudio first disbelieved this andfinally agreed to go and find out for himself. This makes him toadmit Hero’s infidelity on the wedding day at the public whichcancels the wedding later on making Hero pass out in disbelief.Thanks to Dogberry the constable who instructs his watchmen to beextra vigilant on the eve of the wedding, they overheard Don John’smen boasting how they had tricked Claudio. The men were arrested.
Theking knew her daughter had not died, but they forged a plan to claimthat she had died during that incident. People had begun to mistrustClaudio after those series of events after he admits to Leonardo thatDon John fooled him (Everett,pp319-335).They pretend to be unforgiving, and the governor says he will beforgiven if he marries his cousin which he accepts. Only, later on,to be surprised when Hero returns on the wedding day.
Fromthe events, it is clear that Claudio did not love Hero. This isevident from the way he takes up the whole issue. A person who is inreal love cannot easily fall to pranks about cheating of their loverjust by one incident you are not sure. Here we find him trusting somenews that he did not investigate to see if it were true before makingthe decision (Zitner,et al. p22).Someone who is in love would take some time to get in the situationand analyze about the infidelity issue before coming to a conclusionabout their spouse. This tells that the love was not that real.
Afterbeing lied to that Hero had died, he was ordered to marry thegovernor’s cousin, or else he won’t be forgiven, this tests hislove towards her. He agrees, and this shows that the love was notreal too. You cannot marry that fast if the real love of your lifedies suddenly especially in compromising situations like the oneabove here. You would take a lot more time to get over her death, andone may even fail to marry since it will be haunting. This tells usthat Claudio did not have the real affection as he could easilyreplace her. Real love is not easy to replace especially when deathoccurs.
Inconclusion from the events, we find that the two lovebirds portrayedas though they love each other, but the truth is they did not becauseof the unfolding events aftermath their presumed death of the bridewhich was fake. The groom makes decisions which show how unreal theirlove was.
Everett,Barbara. "Much Ado About Nothing." CriticalQuarterly3.4 (1961): 319-335.
Shakespeare,William, and Frederick Edward Budd. Muchado about nothing.Cambridge University Press, 1936.
Zitner,Sheldon P. "Much Ado About Nothing." OxfordShakespeare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993)1 (1993): 22.