The plot of “Much Ado About Nothing” is an elaborate network of schemes and tricks. This statement is confirmed throughout “Much Ado About Nothing”. The play contains many examples of tricks and schemes that are used to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of characters. The major examples of such manipulation include- Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato tricking Benedick into believing that Beatrice loves him, Hero and Ursula trick Beatrice into thinking Benedick is in love with her. The relationship between Claudio and Hero also endures much manipulation. For instance Don John and Borachio trick Claudio and the Prince into believing Hero is unfaithful. As in the tradition of Shakespeare, the Friar deceives everybody into thinking Hero is dead. An instance of trickery involves Benedick being manipulated to believe Beatrice is in love with him. This trickery is carried out playfully by Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio. They realize Benedick’s stubbornness in Act II Scene iii, when he states “man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love.” Due to this stubbornness Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio must devise a way of attaining the love amid Benedick and Beatrice. In Act II Scene iii the men accomplish this by way of waiting for Benedick to be within ears reach, then raising the topic of Leonato’s niece Beatrice. Don Pedro’s reference about “your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick.” helps to accomplish such manipulation. This scheme is completed when this is overheard by Benedick, and due to his insecurity about love he falls for their trick, thus loving Beatrice. Another example of manipulation that is closely related to the one involving Benedick but Beatrice becomes the focus of the scheme. Like Benedick, Beatrice’s feelings about love are strong and opposing. When she states “Not till God make men of some other mettle than earth” she assumes that her desired partner does not exist. Hero and Ursula believe that Benedick would make a good husband for Beatrice and as a result of this, they plan a scheme to bring about love between Beatrice and Benedick. Hero and Ursula accomplish their scheme in Act III Scene i.
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Their scheme is concluded by means of discussing that they have heard that Benedick loves Beatrice greatly. Beatrice overhears this and thinks the combination of her and Benedick’s wit and intelligence would make a successful match. Beatrice displays her free will when making this decision. The most significant trick employed during the play is carried out in Act IV Scene i; this trick is crucial because it adds the uncertainty and action to fulfil the requirements of a romantic comedy. Don John and Borachio manipulate Claudio and the Prince into believing that Hero is unfaithful the night before she is to be wed. Don John and Borachio achieve this via Borachio setting up a meeting of himself and Margaret in Hero’s room, thus Margaret portrays herself unknowingly as Hero. Don John then proceeds to convince Don Pedro and Claudio that he has received word of Hero’s unfaithfulness. Claudio is without complications convinced, due to his insecure and influential nature. Don Pedro is also easily convinced because he feels loyalty between his brother and himself. This trick culminates on Claudio and Hero’s wedding day when Claudio accuses and disgraces Hero. Additional manipulation succeeds the deceit of Claudio by Don John. In Act IV Scene i, after Hero is accused of being unfaithful, the Friar decides that she should just play dead until she is proven innocent. As in the tradition of Shakespeare, the Friar deceives everyone into believing that Hero died from the humiliation and shock of being disgraced on her wedding day. The deception carried out by the Friar is vital to the happy ending of the romantic comedy. It leads to another trick where Claudio is lead to believe that he is marrying Hero’s cousin but ends up marrying Hero herself. The plot of “Much Ado About Nothing” is an elaborate network of schemes and tricks. This statement is confirmed throughout the play as in the examples previously discussed. The play is based around these tricks and schemes and is crucial for the plot development and for “Much Ado About Nothing” to fit into the genre of a romantic comedy. Therefore the plot of “Much Ado About Nothing” is an elaborate network of schemes and tricks.
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