Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John

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The Character of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy in which he uses one of his more peculiar villains. The antagonist in this play is Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro. In this paper I will discuss the role of Don John as well as his motives and the character himself. I will also delve into Shakespeare's use of Don John as the antagonist. I will be comparing Don John to other characters in the play as well as to other villains in Shakespeare's works. While Don John does not spend a great deal of time on the stage in Much Ado About Nothing, he still plays a vital role in the plot of the play. The plan that he sets in motion is one of the two main stories within…show more content…
It may also be possible that "overthrow refers to Don John's own dishonor and shame that causes him to be "overthrown" in the good graces of Don Pedro (Spivack 410). Whatever motives for Don John's bitter hatred for Claudio the reader infers, it is obvious that Don John will stop at nothing to see Claudio miserable. The character, Don John, is evil in every sense of the word. He mentions several times of his sadness and he seems to revel in his own distemper. He says of himself in act one that "though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain" (Shakespeare 15).Shakespeare uses him in a perfect contrast against the "good guys". Whenever you have a villain as mean and deceitful as Don John, your heroes in the play, no matter how flawed, can't help but look more appealing. Shakespeare's villains are some of the most interesting characters in British literature. The one that is most similar to Don John, in my opinion, is Claudius, the traitor king in Hamlet. Both Don John and Claudius were deceitful in their plots toward their brothers, even though Don Pedro was not affected nearly as much as Hamlet's father. I believe what sets these villains off from other rogues is the fact that they were directing their vengeance and wrath at their brothers, and the people around them. That kind of deceit is more disgusting than any other form. In order for Don John to successfully complete his plan
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