Examples Of Chastity In Much Ado About Nothing

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Chastity, Chivalry, and Cuckolding Much Ado About Nothing was written by William Shakespeare just before the beginning of the seventeenth century. During this time, life was dictated in Elizabethan England by rigid protocols of proper etiquette as decided by the Church of England. Such formalities pervaded every facet of the day to day life but was most often seen in the domestic lives of men and women. As was the social standard at the time, marriage was a responsibility of men and women alike to secure affluence and legacy. However, marriage did not end with a stereotypical “happily ever after”. In fact, it was quite the contrary. The obsession with female chastity and the fear of cuckolding created suspicion between the typical Elizabethan couple. William Shakespeare uses Much Ado About Nothing, as a comedy to portray the larger-than-life lives of Elizabethan couples and the roles they played, obsession over purity and fidelity, or the lack of it, gender equality, and the overall importance of honor are seen throughout, supported by commentary and actions from the characters. Much Ado About Nothing builds its’ foundation upon the fervent views of female purity. At the time, a the worth of a woman lay within her honor, her honor decided by her chastity both in behavior and sexually. Should her chastity be questioned, it overwhelmed any social standing the young woman had. This is no clearer seen than in the relationship between Hero and Claudio. Thomas Becon,
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