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Archetypal Hero Essay

945 words - 4 pages

Hero, the unfortunate damsel in distress, sacrificing her own marriage and pretending to perish in order to ameliorate the reputation of her family, compelled to work upon the words of other’, Hero is actually a hero according to the denotation of the word “hero” in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Born into royalty, Hero endures a traumatic incident, but eventually achieves her destiny. One of Shakespeare’s major themes is deception regarding gender roles. With his use of characteristic archetypes, he evokes that deception is what lies between perception and reality, which in this case drives Claudio to misconstrue the reality. A man’s superiority towards a woman is prominent throughout the ...view middle of the document...

1.85). By calling him a lord, she shows that her status in society is lower than his and she owes him respect. Her inferiority to Claudio signifies that even though his accusations were extremely fallacious, there was nothing, at the moment, she could do to save the image of herself and her family.
The roles of women, a thematic subject in this play, are idealized through Hero. Women were expected to remain pure and untainted until marriage, and the deleterious accusations that put her and her family’s images in jeopardy. During the scene in the altar, she took her place as a woman, and instead of arguing with Claudio, she reluctantly and quietly stood there, while Claudio publically castigated her. Had she not accepted her role as a woman and instead displayed the strength to defile Claudio, the results would’ve been very different because of her particular, yet significant gender in society.
Naïve Claudio, young and inexperienced, believed all that was told to him, and, being a man, his accusation towards her signifies his supremacy over her. Having her sacrificial death publicized, she, along with the friar and the others’ included in the plan, made an effort to regain the social and moral status of her family, while slowing (consuming) his internal demeanor with the guilt impressed on him. As she confronts Claudio in the alter, as a way to redeem and “resurrect” herself from the dead, she solemnly quotes, “One hero died defiled; but I do live, and surely as I live, I am a maid” (4.4.63). With this one statement, Hero courteously wins back the honor of her family, without actively contributing too much to the plan. However, she wouldn’t have gained her prolonged justice if her innocence wouldn’t have been recognized...

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