Comic And Serious Aspects In Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

2016 words - 8 pages

Comic and Serious Aspects in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

In Much Ado About Nothing there are many intersecting deceptions
between the main plot and the sub plot. For example, there is the
deception of Claudio and Don Pedro by Don John which at first seems
separate from the comical deception of Benedick by the male tricksters
until Act 4, Scene 1 where the consequences of the comical deception
turn serious. Each type of deception gives a lighter or graver aspect
to the play, whether it is from the characters reactions or from who
is doing the deceiving. All deception are centred around love, which
is the antithesis of reason, this could be why we see some desperate
reactions or changes in characters. The only characters that stay the
same throughout are the minor characters as they are not in love with
any of the major characters like Hero or Beatrice. The comic
deceptions are mainly for benevolent intentions and the serious
deceptions are mainly for malevolent intentions.

In Act 2, Scene 1, there is a masked ball which has both comic and
serious aspects of deception. This is important as the audience will
be reminded that the play is a comedy from the minor characters and
the joke that Beatrice makes of Benedick. This is all comical as the
men are masked and try to deceive the women without much look.
Shakespeare put this in the middle of the deception of Don Pedro
wooing Hero and Don John’s first plot of deceiving Claudio, which
creates bathos. Antonio tries to deceive Ursula who can guess who he
is (Ursula: “…you are Signor Antonio”, Antonio: “At a word, I am
not.”). Beatrice deceives Benedick, this is the first time that
Benedick can show how Beatrice’s words have stung him, “Why he is the
prince’s jester, a very dull fool…he both pleases men and angers them,
and then they laugh at him…” He is so angry about this that he cannot
help Claudio. The deception of Don Pedro begins in Act 1, Scene 1
when Don Pedro says that he “…will break with her, and with her
father, and thou shalt have her”, which means he will woo Hero for
Claudio. This all seems simple enough but there is malevolent
deception planned by Don John when he learns of this from Borachio in
Act 1, Scene 3. He plans to trick Claudio into believing that Don
Pedro wants Hero for himself. His plan works up until Don Pedro tells
him the truth which shows how detached Don John is and that he would
have to do a lot more to break a friendship or as we later find out
that he has to deceive more people than just Claudio.

As well as people deceiving others they also deceive themselves into
thinking that they are people they are not. These are comical as the
audience can laugh at them. One of these characters is a minor
character called Dogberry. He is the constable of Messina and thinks
...

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