Essay about The Role of Deception in Much Ado About Nothing

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The Role of Deception in Much Ado About Nothing

Deception is the aspect of Much Ado About Nothing which enables
Shakespeare to hold the interest of his audience. The play purports to
be a light-humoured comedy full of fun and entertaining images.
However, it has moments of gravity and, in places, a darker plot
almost approaching tragedy, is exposed to the audience. It emerges as
a story of a shallow world, full of weak characters. Deception is a
pivotal part of the plot - it is what makes the story revolve and what
keeps the attention of the audience.

The title of the play itself suggests the significance of deception in
the play. In Elizabethan times, the word 'nothing' was pronounced
…show more content…
This added
to the audience's confusion of the plot.

Don John is responsible for much of the deception in the play and the
deception which he causes leads to misery. In Elizabethan times,
children born out of wedlock were thought to be out to challenge the
claims of the legitimate heirs and were therefore perceived as evil
and malicious. It is for this reason that Don John, (himself born out
of wedlock), is so conveyed. Don John tries to deceive Leonato and
others that he is really quite an honourable character. He is
introduced into the play, being welcomed into Leonato's house with Don
Pedro to which he responds, "I thank you, I am not of many words but I
thank you." In his repetition of the thanks, despite being "not of
many words", he tries to gives the impression to Leonato and his
household that he is sincere and genuine. However, as the play
unfolds, it becomes evident that he is one of the main "deceivers"
within the play.

The masked ball sets the scene for the rest of the play. The idea of
masking is implemented by Shakespeare as a symbol of the deception and
the hidden reality of the circumstances within the play. This scene
sees the first real deed of deception. Don John approaches Claudio,
who is masked and asks him if he…