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MonkeyNotes-Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
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Characters

Claudio

Claudio is introduced as a valiant young man in the first scene. Of all the soldiers, he is the most aggressive in battle, and that is why Don John hates him so much. He arrives in Messina and falls in love with Hero at first sight. For some reason, he is timid about approaching Hero, and asks Don Pedro to help him court the young woman

Claudio is a flawed hero, though, because he is gullible and suspicious by nature. Twice he instantly suspects the worst of his fiancée without giving her the benefit of doubt or even checking his facts with her. In the end, he must prove his worth to marry her by confessing his repentance at her "grave"; a sign that he has done away with his old suspicious self and been purified by regret.


Hero

She is pretty, charming and graceful. Naturally shy by nature, she is silent most of the time. Her character stands out as being reticent, passive and submissive. She does not seem to be self- willed. For instance, when her uncle asks her whether she would consent to Don Pedro's proposal, she tells her father, "Father, as it please you." Hero is periodically victimized in the play, without ever expressing emotions of rage at the injustices heaped on her. In fact, she is forgiving of Claudio to the extent that she asks no apology of him for the things he has said to and about her. A modern audience might react to Hero with some dismay for her lack of dignity; at the time, however, she was a perfect example of gracious purity. She is forgiving and kind-hearted. Se merely wants to marry her man.

Hero comes into her own in Act III, when she very successfully manages to carry out the strategy that has been proposed by Don Pedro to trap Beatrice. She gives the necessary instruction to Ursula to conduct the kind of conversation that will have the desired effect upon Beatrice. She understands that not everyone spontaneously falls in love with each other, but they can be persuaded to fall in love with appropriate planning. She talks with great skill in the conversation with Ursula. Her penetration of character is revealed in the manner in which she describes Beatrice. Hero pinpoints Beatrice's haughty and contemptuous nature as well as her vanity and self-love. Beatrice, overhearing this, is obviously strongly influenced. She is made conscious of her faults and rendered more vulnerable, amenable to the feeling of love. Romance almost seems to be on the brink of reality: it is made more credible. Beatrice's reaction proves the success of Hero's well-chosen remarks. Immediately Beatrice expresses her determination to cast off her pride and self-love and to reciprocate Benedick's love in a soliloquy.

She is a fair heroine, passive and harmless in every respect-a suitable mate for a hapless war hero like Claudio.

Benedick

Benedick is a proud young bachelor, self-assured and set in his ways. He is an outspoken bachelor who finds it highly unlikely he will ever meet the woman who can tame his stubborn heart. He is enormously clever and sarcastic. Most of the really amusing lines of dialogue either come from or are shared by Benedick. He is tremendously likeable, and nothing is more fulfilling to the audience than to see him completely enslaved to love once he realizes its power.

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MonkeyNotes-Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
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