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Much Ado About Nothi: Death And Rebirth

1060 words - 5 pages

What is death? Death is the “great unknown”, and that is why it is so frightening. Death is inevitable, everybody encounters it. The very idea of death strikes fear into many people’s hearts. Yet, is death always the end of one’s living? In William Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing, various characters experience a symbolic death and rebirth, which is rather interesting and surprising. The characters undergo changes that help enhance the plot. In the beginning of the play Claudio, Benedick and Beatrice hold strong beliefs and opinions which gradually change as a result of outside influences, therefore leading to the symbolic deaths of these characters. Then as the plot progresses towards the dénouement Claudio, Benedick and Beatrice return to life with different perspectives and goals to achieve. The death and rebirth of these characters are necessary, as the events that occur in between help evolve the characters while also developing the characters. Much Ado About Nothing develops the idea that death and rebirth is not literal, but can also be interested as an internal change.
The characters Claudio, Benedick and Beatrice encounter death in different parts of the play. Their deaths are similar to the death of a caterpillar which slowly turns into a chrysalis and hangs on a tree branch for weeks. Claudio’s suspicious nature is the cause for his symbolic death. Claudio’s death occurs when he believes Don John’s shocking false accusation against Hero, which proclaims hero unfaithful. Claudio is suspicious at first, but when Don John offers proof, his suspicion is confirmed and the modest Claudio is killed. The next day, in front of the church congregation Claudio says, “There Leonato, take her back again. Give not this rotten orange to your friend.” When this statement of Claudio is compared to the initial affectionate and diplomatic Claudio, it shows that his character took a complete turn. Claudio who wholeheartedly admired hero denounces her without receiving any explanation from Hero herself. Claudio viewed in Acts one to three disappears, since he feels that hero betrays him. Furthermore, Benedick and Beatrice are symbolically killed as a result of their gullible characters. At the beginning of the play, Benedick is stubborn and single minded. He (NOT DONE)
Towards the dénouement of the play Claudio, Benedick and Beatrice undergo significant changes which indicate their symbolic rebirth. Their rebirths symbolize the chrysalis which slowly bursts open revealing a magnificent butterfly that retains vibrant colors. Claudio feels guilty for slandering hero after Borachio confesses to treachery and lying and admits his crime Claudio is reborn when he says, Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear in rare semblance that I loved it first.” Claudio realizes that Borachio’s information supports hero’s true innocence and that she died because he wrongly accuses her, tarnishes her reputation forever and ruins her family. Claudio who is so hostile...

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