In Much Ado About Nothing, there are many ways in which Shakespeare looks into the theme of words and silence through the characters of Dogberry, Don John and Hero. Shakespeare analyses this theme through how the characters use their own words to help themselves whether it be their weapon, shield or a weapon against themselves. Also, what effect their words have on the audience and other characters such as fear, humour and allowing the audience to get more involved. The theme also shows how they express their feelings of love, hatred or authority through silence.
From the very beginning Shakespeare has carefully determined how the characters use their words to defend themselves against others. Don John uses his words as a weapon to destroy
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Shakespeare makes Dogberry have a completely different motivation when it comes to how he uses his words. Dogberry’s interesting vocabulary makes his own words turn into a ‘weapon’ against him which appears to be amusing for the audience because he is incapable of selecting the appropriate word in his sentences. When Dogberry and The Watch are explaining the crime, Dogberry says, ‘indeed comprehended two aspicious persons’, the incorrect use of words backfire on Dogberry as they aren’t the meaning he intended to use –Dogberry meant the words apprehended and suspicious. Ironically, Shakespeare uses Dogberry’s constant use of malapropisms to actually lead him and his men to outsmart Don John and his minions, the effect of Dogberry’s words changes the play entirely.
As well as Dogberry’s words, Shakespeare uses the effect of words to move the play forward so the plot can develop more smoothly. Hero’s poetic lines achieve the effect she wants to achieve, act 3 scene 1 would allow an Elizabethan audience to picture the scene vividly because they didn’t have a backdrop, Hero describes the scene as, ‘pleachèd bower where honeysuckles ripened by the sun’. This imagery indicates that the area is shaded which is perfect for a gulling scene since the hidden orchard could represent misperception. Shakespeare also shows that when Hero is given the chance