How the Characters in Much Ado About Nothing Learn to Love Essay

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How the Characters in Much Ado About Nothing Learn to Love


The title of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing has sparked scholarly debates about its meaning for centuries. Some say it is a play on the term “noting”, revolving around the theme of all sorts of deceptions by all sorts of appearances (Rossiter 163). Others claim it has more to do with everyone making a fuss about things that turn out to be false, therefore, nothing (Vaughn 102). Regardless of these speculations, there is something rather profound going on in the play that is worth making a big deal about: four characters in the play learn about love, and eventually, how to love.

The four characters that learn the art of love are Beatrice
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Claudio also does not seem to know much about Hero, thus explaining why he is asking Benedick about her. He not only wants to know that his budding feelings are justified, but he wants to make sure that his choice of lady is indeed worthy of his honor. Even if Hero is fair, if she will not compliment Claudio’s social status, he will not marry her (Ranald 74). The notion of honor will come back to the forefront of this play later on.

During this first scene, it quickly becomes clear that he knows he feels something for Hero, but he is unsure of exactly what his feelings mean. While talking to both Benedick and Don Pedro, Claudio describes his feelings as passion first (I.i.219-220), and then he says, “That I love her, I feel” (I.i.228). Claudio’s lame profession of love for Hero mirrors the shallowness of his previous comments.

Claudio is not trying to be small-minded though. Because Claudio is a soldier above all else, it seems reasonable that he might not know if he’s in love or not. Claudio, Ranald says, “is less the romantic young man in love than the ambitious young soldier primarily concerned with his own advancement…He must learn that marriage is more than a business arrangement (74).” With Claudio in this business-like frame of mind, the lack of romance in his speech during the previously mentioned lines makes sense.

What does this really say about Claudio? At this…