The Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

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The Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing

The Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy set
in Messina, Italy. In this play there is a thin line between it being
a comedy and a tragedy, the only thing that stops this play being a
tragedy is the happy ending and the fact that no one really dies.

Throughout the play there are a series of upsets within the
relationships between characters. Don John, who is the illegitimate
brother of Don Pedro, causes most of this upset and trouble. Don Pedro
is an important nobleman from Aragon. He is a long-time friend of
Leonato and is also close to the soldiers that have been fighting
under him (the younger
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Don John feels as
though he is worthless compared to his brother.

There is a hidden cause behind Don John's corrupt nature.

'…I am

trusted with a muzzle and enfranchis'd with a clog,

therefore I have decreed, not to sing in my cage…'

Don John feels trapped, he is unable to speak as he wishes, show no
opinion on a matter, he has very little freedom of movement, and he
cannot be who he wants to be.

Don John does not like Claudio.

'…that young start-up hath all the glory of

my overthrow…'

Don John doesn't like Claudio because he feels his brother likes
Claudio more than him. This shows Don John is also jealous of Claudio,
as well as Don Pedro.

The scene Don John next appears in is Act II scene I. This part of the
play is set at a masked party Leonato has organised to welcome his
guests. This is the first scene we actually see Don John trying to
create trouble. He does this by telling Claudio that Don Pedro fancies
Hero and is trying to get her for himself.

'Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath

withdrawn her father to break with him about it…'

We know there is no truth in this and that Don Pedro is merely trying
to win Hero for Claudio. Don John is trying to damage the relationship…