Borachio in William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing Essay

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"No Small Parts, Only Small Actors"

"There are no small parts, only small actors." Is this statement accurate? Minor characters, by simple definition, are characters who do not play a major role in a work of literature. However, every character serves a purpose. Simply because a character does not have many lines or appear in many scenes does not mean that he does not play a major part in the development of the plot. One such character is Borachio in William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. While Borachio appears in only six scenes, he is very important to the entire play. As a minor character, Borachio seems insignificant, but without his role in the play, there would be neither conflict nor a resolution.

Borachio's role is
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Though Borachio hears that Hero, Claudio, and Don Pedro settle the confusion and Claudio and Hero are still getting married, he still feels that there is time to create more conflict to prevent this seemingly inevitable marriage. Being the love interest of Margaret (Hero's waiting woman) allows Borachio to conjure up another plan to accomplish this task. After devising a plan to make it seem as though Hero is being unfaithful to Claudio, Borachio goes to Don John and advises him that Claudio and Don Pedro "will scarcely believe this without trial . . . hear me call Margaret Hero, hear Margaret term me Claudio" (2.2.40-44). Borachio and Margaret are at the window, and from Claudio's view, he cannot tell that it is Margaret, not Hero, in the window with Borachio. Henceforth, this mistaken identity causes the main conflict in the play, one where Borachio takes the role of the villain. Because Don John has a reason to hate his brother, Borachio's acts seem much more villainous because he has no direct motivation. Having the full intention to disrupt the marriage of Claudio and Hero, Borachio develops his plan on his own and is offered compensation from Don John subsequent to this development. Don John tells Borachio that his "fee is a thousand ducats" (2.3.53), making Borachio's only obvious direct motivation receiving full compensation for his villainous actions. Borachio's misleading act sets the stage for the…