Act 4 Scene 1 In Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

3511 words - 14 pages

Act 4 Scene 1 in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The play is a comedy, which centres on two couples and their love
affairs, although there are other subplots, which involve disguise and
trickery. The scene itself focuses on the wedding of Claudio and Hero
during which Claudio strongly rejects Hero. It is a dramatic scene
where the tension of the audience is most raised during the play. This
is due to the characters theatrical behavior and language. It also
opens new doors for other relationships to evolve such as Beatrice and
Benedick, who overcome their hatred for each other and fall in love.
In some ways this scene has its advantages and disadvantages. If this
scene had not happened in such a dramatic way then Claudio and Hero
would have been married straight away and the ceremony would have been
very ordinary with no excitement or tension and Beatrice and Benedick
probably wouldn't of come together in such an unexpected way.

Before the scene commences Dogberry, known as the local
policeman/detective tries to tell Leonato that he has arrested Don
John's followers who thought up the plan. Don John has wrongly accused
Hero by deceiving Claudio and Don Pedro. He did this by showing
Claudio and Don Pedro one of his three followers at the window making
love to Margaret, who's hair looked similar to Hero's. Don John's plan
worked and he deceived his fellow friends. Dogberry uses persuasive
language to try and get Leonato to listen, however Leonato won't
listen because he his too busy with preparations for the wedding. This
builds up the tension in the audience as they already know about what
Don John has done and in someway would make them agitated with the
character of Leonato because he did not listen to Dogberry. This makes
Dogberry worried and now knows that the wedding could be a total
disaster. Leonato's excuse for being too busy to listen because of the
wedding is known as dramatic irony because something this important
should make Leonato listen. Because of Leonato not wanting to listen
to Dogberry, the audience are given the expectation that the wedding
may not be a perfect affair.

The part of the scene where Hero is rejected is very powerful. In many
productions of this play the character of Claudio is made violent,
this also happens in the production by Kenneth Brag , which we
studied. Such ways as pushing Hero and shouting at her with abusive
language of that time make Claudio's behavior vicious and shocking.
Claudio rejects Hero in a very dreadful approach using various
techniques of behaviour and body language. His behavior is strong and
alarming, he shuffles her on her arms, almost shaking her and pushes
her onto the ground in a disgusted manner. As well as his shocking
behavior, Claudio also uses abusive language to bring out his
feelings. Such...

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