Much Ado About Nothing - the Importance of Noting

1230 WordsOct 8, 19995 Pages
<center><b>Discuss The Importance Of Noting In Much Ado About Nothing</b></center> <br> <br>Noting, or observing, is central to many of the ideas in Much Ado About Nothing. The word nothing was pronounced as noting in Elizabethan times, and it seems reasonable to presume that the pun was intended by Shakespeare to signal the importance of observation, spying and eavesdropping in the play. As a plot device, these occurrences propel the action and create humour and tension. The perils of noting incorrectly are portrayed and this leads naturally to the investigation of another major theme, the discrepancy between appearance and reality. Shakespeare uses the problems of illusion, deception and subjectivity of perception to examine the…show more content…
He can not note Hero's flesh and blood humanity and, later, he can not note her innocence. His devotion to courtly ideals seems to be the real reason he can not distinguish appearance from reality and Don John's slander only reinforces his natural misogyny and mistrust. This inability to note things correctly due to deception helps demonstrate the gap between appearance and reality in Messina society. <br> <br>The subjectivity of perception creates problems in the patriarchal, Messina society. Why are some of the characters in Messina perceptive and others not? It appears that Shakespeare is making a damning observation of Elizabethan society. During the dramatic denunciation scene, only Friar Francis, Beatrice and Benedict correctly perceive Hero's innocence. Friar Francis states this clearly: <br> <br>"...by noting of the lady. <br>I have marked <br>A thousand blushing apparitions <br>...trust not my age, <br>My reverence, calling nor divinity, <br>If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here, <br>Under some biting error <br>4.1. 150-162 <br> <br>Leonato, however, can not perceive the innocence of his own daughter. He immediately sides with Claudio and Don Pedro and notes that they would not lie: <br> <br>"Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie, <br>Who loved her so, that speaking of her foulness, <br>Washed it with tears? Hence from her, let her
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