Themes Of Deception In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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In Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing deception is a common theme. Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato tricked Benedick, Hero and Ursula gulled Beatrice, while Don Pedro and his lackeys deceived Claudio. Lies and trickery are laced throughout the entire play. But why? Why does Shakespeare have this apparent fascination with fraud? It could be that he is displaying the type of deception that brings out the truth, healing, and life, in comparison to lies that lead to false assumptions, pain, and death. Sometimes truth is made to appear like a lie, which makes people think that they have uncovered the truth. This method of deception is used many times throughout Shakespeare’s play in both positive and negative ways. The first example is …show more content…
Don John is the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro. The history between them is not one of brotherly love, however. In fact, the entire story begins with the men returning from a war between the two siblings. But Don Pedro, being a merciful brother, pardoned his kinsman, which gave Don John the opportunity to change his tactics from that of blatant defiance to those of sneaking trickery. The first item on his agenda was revenge on Claudio, who prevented Don John from seizing power from his brother, although the play does not elaborate on the nature of Claudio’s interference. The malevolent brother’s plan was to ruin the marriage of Claudio and Hero. He, along with his henchman, Borachio, and the latter’s lover, Margaret, convinced the Bridegroom-to-be that his fiancé had been unfaithful. The young Claudio snapped up the bait with seemingly utter delight and was all too eager to defame his would-be bride. With the support of the equally misled Don Pedro, Claudio publicly denounced Hero as “an approved wanton”, a whore. It seemed like the malicious brother’s plan of destruction had succeeded, but, thanks to the efforts of the wise Friar Francis, Claudio and Hero were reunited in a truer love than before. Despite the marvelous ending that was perfected and tempered in the fires of deception, Don John nearly triumphed with his black-hearted lies. There is no …show more content…
The play is filled with lies, deceit, and deception, some with justifiable intentions, while others are only found in the hearts of evil men. Benedick was gulled and led to give in to the smothered love for Beatrice that he kept hidden deep inside of his heart. Beatrice was deceived similarly, which also brought out her hidden feelings for Benedick. The deception with kindly intentions ended the feud that had been generated as a shield for the love sick pair’s respective hearts, allowing a fresh romance to grow and flourish. Unlike the twin ruses that were instigated to procure love, Don John’s plot was created in order that he might destroy his enemy’s happiness. Filled with jealousy, rage, and furious revenge, he set out to infuse Claudio and Hero’s relationship with the poison of his evil lies that derive their origin from the prince of darkness himself. Despite the lies that plague the story, light won out over darkness as it always has and always will. A lesson that can be taken from Shakespeare’s narrative is this: not everything is as it seems. It is a lesson that can prevent descending into the darkness as Claudio did. Some things have to be investigated deeper to be understood

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