Much Ado about “Noting” Essay

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In the play “Much Ado About Nothing” both the characters and their actions are concerned with “noting” or visually perceiving the other characters and the situations they find themselves in; ironically these perceptions are usually based on false or misinterpreted information. The “noting” in Much Ado is used to great effect, in that it propels the plot and dominates the characters relationships. “Much Ado about Nothing is centrally concerned with problems of knowledge and perception,” this is the main point in Nova Myhill’s article “Spectatorship in/of Much Ado about Nothing”, we will see how characters rely on perception to gain what they believe to be truthful knowledge. How the characters think and view themselves are just as …show more content…
Myhill states that “Hero characteristically lacks a voice and becomes in effect a sign to be read and interpreted by others.” What this does to Hero is make her one dimensional and a tool to progress the play. Her “lack of voice” enables others to create false perceptions around her. The importance of noting and perceiving a character through visual perception allows for falsities to be created. This point brings about the importance of eavesdropping throughout the play. Since Hero has no voice one must be created for her by what others perceive and are lead to believe they perceive about her; in essence other characters visual perceptions become who Hero is believed to be. “Eavesdropping rather than conversation, is established as the accepted model for receiving credible information throughout the play…” (Myhill). This is true in many cases and certainly does not only pertain to our poor Hero; many of the characters in Much Ado are mislead from their interpretations by a belief in a supposedly authentic eavesdropping. This belief leads to many problems between characters, primarily Hero and Claudio. “The discrepancy between their spectatorial position and the one they believe they occupy leads [the] characters to accept what they hear as truth, and model themselves accordingly,” (Myhill). This is not unlike what happens to Beatrice and Benedick in Act 2 sc. 3- Act 3 sc. 1. Benedick believes himself to be an unseen

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