Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Renaissance Italy Essay

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Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" takes place in Messina, a city-state of Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance was a period in European history believed to have been between AD 1300 and AD 1600 with a feudal society of agricultural economy and church dominated culture. It was during the Renaissance that Europe was transformed into a society dominated by central political institutions with education, arts and music heavily influenced by the Christian religion. In Italy, cities such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice flourished. These cities were able to finance cultural achievements. Medieval Italian merchants developed commercial and financial techniques such as bookkeeping and bills of exchange. Italian city-states were …show more content…
One of John's men enacts a scene at Hero's window with a woman who appears to be Hero. When Claudio and Pedro observe this, they are easily deceived and Claudio angrily denounces Hero to be hidden as though dead until Claudio regains his senses. When the constable, Dogberry, arrests John's men, who then readily confess their guilt, Claudio is forced to admit his error in thinking Hero would deceive him. He then mourns for her and agrees to marry her cousin. The cousin turns out to be a disguised and forgiving Hero. After all this "ado" the two couples are married and Don John is arrested.

Don Pedro is a linking character, playing many key roles in the play. In many ways, he shows the influence of the time period. Being the prince of Aragon, a region in northeast Spain, he carries the title of respect "Don". He seems to be the stereotypical leader of the Renaissance times, enjoying being in charge as well as possessing the ability to woo young women. He also shows the time period in the situation with his brother Don John. Because he was born outside of marriage, Don John has no official claim on any of his family's wealth or position. He then tries to overthrow Pedro in battle.

Other characters positions also illustrate the time period. For example, Dogberry and Verges who are the constable and deputy constable. Their rough habits and garbled speech show the mannerisms of the Renaissance peasants. Hero's maidservants' occasional vulgar comments also demonstrate…