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Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 3850 words Published: 12th May 2017

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Act three scene one focuses on the plot of deception, however one should note that the deception is not meant to hurt. The scene begins with the execution of Hero’s plan which is to trick Beatrice into entering the Orchard on the pretence that they (Ursula and Hero) were talking about her and did not intend for her to hear. However this is not so, as in reality the plan is for them to appear unaware of her presence but this is a part of the deception. When Beatrice is in hearing of Hero’s and Ursula’s discussion the plan is set into motion, here all the virtues of Benedick are praised, and the faults of Beatrice critiqued. They also speak of Benedick’s suppose love for Beatrice which was confessed to Hero by the prince Benedicks most trusted friend. This is part of the deception, Hero also emphasises the fact that Beatrice is full of herself and filled with so much disdain and pride that she dare not tell her for she would laugh at Benedick. This is probably the reason why she told Don Pedro that if he loved Benedick he should persuade him to fight his love for Beatrice and never let her know of it and also her supposed resolution to go to Benedick and tell him bad things about her cousin which will empoison his liking for her, ironically this is a fore shadowing of her public disgrace by Claudio because of well chosen ill words and false proof. Thus the marriage she professes to happen tomorrow is an unlikely event. At the end of the discussion, it is Ursula’s and Hero’s belief that Beatrice is caught in their deception and thus there will be an eminent avowal of love for each other (Benedict and Beatrice). The scene ends with a soliloquy by Beatrice how has obviously fallen in the web of deceit spun by Hero albeit with good intentions but still filled with lies. Beatrice is surprised by the condemnation of her personality and has resolved to say goodbye to her offending qualities and return Benedick’s love. One must also note that in this scene unlike other scenes allows the reader to get an insight to Hero as a person as we see her sharing her opinions and talking more than usual.


In Act three scene one the themes of Deception, Appearance vs. reality and Love are illustrated.


Sometimes gods aren’t the only persons who have the power and the ability to put two people in a relationship. In some cases human intervention is quite necessary. Love is an important aspect of everybody’s life, however pride can be a killer which prevents people fully expressing and fully demonstrating how they feel for each other, as a result some outside interference can alter all of this.

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In scene one deception was portrayed in the form of trickery. One must realize that the act of deception was not carried out to hurt instead it was carried to help two people who were secretly in love with each other to form a union. Deception comes into motion when Hero sent Margret to getting her cousin in the orchard giving Beatrice information that hero and Ursula are in the Orchard speaking about her. The deception comes into its true action when Hero and her gentlewoman pretend that they aren’t aware of Beatrice presences. Beatrice does the same as she thinks Hero and her lady in waiting are clueless of her presences; she uses the technique of eavesdropping, to listen on Hero and Ursula’s conversation.

The conversation alludes to Benedick’s love for Beatrice, as Hero learnt it from Don Pedro (highly authoritative source as well as a friend to Benedick) and Claudio “so says the prince, and my new troth`ed lord.” This is an important part of the deception because it adds to the validity of what Hero is acclaiming in regards to Benedick’s love for Beatrice. She goes on to say that Beatrice is not capable of love line 53 “she cannot love, Nor take no shape of affection …” (one should note that Beatrice tries to deceive everybody that she is not in love with Benedict through a mask of verbally abusing Benedict but is unsuccessful as is seen with Hero’s plot of deception) Ursula agrees and thinks it would be best if Beatrice did not learn of Benedick’s love as she would make fun of it, “and therefore certainty it were not good, she knew his love, lest she’ll make sport at it.” They also praise Benedick’s virtues line 60 ” why I never see a man wise, how noble, young ,how rarely featured” Hero also believes that if Beatrice should learn of his love she would mock him and how she would not admit the true worth of any man. The deception is achieved as when Beatrice is tricked in to believing that Benedick is in love with her.


Sometimes people just need a little encouragement or ‘push start’ to truly blossom. For love to truly blossom the push start was to trick Beatrice into b

Believing that Benedick loves her as hero stated in lines104-105 ” If it proves so, then loving goes by haps, some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps” That is basically saying love is by chance and one should not miss this chance.

The theme of love comes into play when the scene is ending. Beatrice, who was tricked into believing that Benedick is in loves her, wants to return the love and to change her behaviour. One must acknowledge the fact that Beatrice and Benedick was in love with each before, as it would be highly unlikely that Beatrice would fall in love with Benedict based on hear say, because one she is too intelligent and realistic thus there must have being some former evidence to this and Beatrice must have already being in love with Benedick. The theme of love is also expressed from “And Benedick, love on, I will requite thee…”

Appearance vs. Reality

Things aren’t always the way they appear to be, love can be a very powerful thing and sometimes pride can prevent people from demonstrating or truly expressing how they feel. This theme is intertwined with the theme of love and deception. When Beatrice fell into Hero and Ursula’s plan in being tricked that Benedick loves her, Beatrice appears to dislike Benedick in the first part of the play but on just overhearing that he really loves her, reality kicks in and she wants to return his love even if it is to change aspects of her personality, line111-11 “And Benedick, love on, I will requite taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.” Also we realize through the use of this theme that even though Beatrice seems to be indifferent to other peoples opinion of her, deep down in her heart she really cares otherwise she would not have listened to what Ursula and Hero was saying about her, this is also evident that their opinion matter with her resolve to say “Contempt, farewell, and maiden Pride adieu/ No glory lives behind the back of such.”


Haggard – This is a female bird which when raised in the wild is difficult to tame. This is symbolic of Beatrice’s pride and her stubbornness when it comes to admitting her love for Benedick.

Cupid – Cupid is a god of love thus he is symbolic of love. His innocence as a baby is also symbolic of what love should be and also what it is not in the Elizabethan times.

Devices – One type of devices used in this scene is that of foreshadowing when Hero says “How much an ill word may empoison liking” foreshadows the public shame that she will face because of the write words chosen by Don John to ever believing Claudio which is also ironic at the same time. This irony is also evident in the fact that Hero plans to deceive Beatrice and although it works perfectly though for good it is deception by Don John of the susceptible Claudio that leads to her public disgrace later on in the play. There is also dramatic irony as the audience knows something that one of the characters Beatrice does not. While we the audience knows the deception for what it is Beatrice is unaware of this fact.

Figures of speech

Simile -“For look where Beatrice like a lapwing lays”, “Her spirits are as coy and wild/As haggard’s of the rock”.

Metaphor – “The pleasant’st angling to see the fish…./and greedily devours the Treacherous bait” Beatrice would be the fish and she greedily gulps down “the treacherous bait” which would be symbolic of the deceit and lies that Hero and Ursula deliberately feeds to her and she predictable believes.

Act 3 scene 2

The theme of deception was presented in (Act 3 Scene) were Claudio found out Hero was being unfaithful. “I come hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened-for she has been too long a talking of the lady disloyal.”

Claudio: “who Hero.”

Don john: ” even she Lenato’s Hero, your Hero every man’s Hero.”

There is also the theme of friendship were Claudio have requested to accompany Don pedro to arragon right after his marriage.There is also the theme of man vs himself as Benedick was having an internal battle trying to deny his love for Beatrice even though in truth he is really in love with her. Appearance vs. reality is another theme found in (Act 3 Scene 2) as Claudio infacts believes all the accusation made against Hero by Don john and is overwhelm with anger and jealousy when infact Hero is innocent of the charges brought against her.

Irony is seen in line 80-86 of the play when Don john said “you may think I love you not; let that appear here after, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest.” He is saying let how I love you show by what I am going to do and Don John did not love his brother so this is ironic. We see metaphor on pages line ” these hobby horses must not hear” because Benedick is comparing Claudio and Don pedro to the hobby horses page 109 lines 69.

The author Shakespeare uses a number of symbols throughout the course of the play in Act 3 Scene 2 we see where the civet Benedick was wearing was symbolic as it represent love a man does not normally wear fragrance unless they are trying to impress someone they love. The reference to cupid is also symbolic as we know cupid mend people in love and it is said that he as “thrice or twice cut cupids bow-string .therefore not even cupid himself can tame Benedick. Stage directions are used as these tells the movement of the characters….over all there was an adequate amount of devices and symbols used and the theme were expounded upon well

Dexann rose

Shantall wheatle

Act Three: Scene Three Analysis

Short summary

In this scene we first meet Dogberry who is the head of the police force in Messia, he is entrusted with the duty of giving orders to the watchmen who are assigned to watch leonartos house. Also we meet his right hand man Verges. In this scene Dogberry instructs the watchmen on what to do in some circumstances that may arise while they did their work. Also the scene goes on to show the dramatis personae comrade and brachio. Brachio tells his fellow man comrade of everything he has done to help his master Don John to destroy Claudio while they hid outside leonartos house. The watchmen, while on duty finds the suspicious two and arrests them in the end.

The Themes

There three themes which is presented in act scene three. Among them: Attitude to Power and trust, Appearance Versus Reality and Relationship- Friendship.

Attitude to Power and Trust: This theme is first theme, which was established at the beginning of act three scenes three. It is here that Dogberry appear to be serious about the job he is entrusted. He is a lower class citizen, constable of the Messina police force but he associates himself with the upper class people due to the position of his job which were given by . This is evident through is speech as he attempts to speak elaborately but his mispronunciation of some certain words betray him thus portraying his literacy. One must really wonder at the asinine instruction he gives

Line27: Where in the second watch question Dogberry on what he ought to do if a suspicious fellow refuses to stop. Dogberry suggest he (the watch) should let him leave and be happy he has no rogue to deal with .

Line 39- 44 : He advises the police officer ( watch) to sleep just as long as their swords are not stolen in the process.

Line 50- 53 : he tells them to avow thieves less they become thieves or destruct themselves.

Scene three , act three provides a comic relief as a comedy focus most on comedic aspects thus it allows the cross plot of Don John in the previous act. It also provides laughter through Dogberry’s malaprop.


The scene provides laughter but beneath the comedy through use of satire, which hints on the theme Appearance versus Reality. Dogberry is the dramatic personae who develops this, he would appear to be wise as his job as being a police constable requires it but in reality when speaks we realize he is the complete opposite. In fact by his orders the audience realize he is no where being prudent but he is foolish . This hints the fact that some persons in society are like that of their appearance disguises who they truly are.

Another foolish behavior that is examined through comic relief that the Messina Police force is not all that importance. This is evident in lines 13- 14 “but to write and read comes by nature “. Dogberry chooses to watch based on his ability to read and write. Also Borachio seems to be a ” gentleman ” as an ordinary Elizabethan good natured gay as any ordinary gay can be line 29 ” goes up and down like a gentleman but I reality he is not as it is obvious through his recollection to Conrade of his villainy he would just commit.


Friendship is highlighted through Borachio and Conrade as he informs his friend of his plot to prevent the marriage of Claudio and Hero making it seems as if Hero was having an affair with him when in fact it was Hero chamber maid, his love Margret , normally friend tell each other everything and that’s just what Borachio does, he tells Conrade the secret conspiracy he4 would just done . Chattering away “like a true drunkard “line 108. A drunkard listens everything because of their unconsciousness state but Borachio utters everything to Conrade consciously because they were friends.


Dogberry- He is a police constable of Messina Police Force. He is serious about his job but as a lower middle class man tries to be like the upper class citizen, this is evident through his misuse of words when he gives the orders to watch.

Lines 21-22: “senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch ‘

“Senseless should be sensible “

Line 24 “You should comprehend all vagrom men”

‘Comprehend should be apprehend’ and ‘vagragrom should be vagabond’

Line 36 ‘talk is the most tolerable and not to be endured’

‘Tolerable should be intolerable ‘

Line 93 ‘ Adieu be vigilant I beseech you’

‘Vigitant should be vigilant;

Verges – The second in command beneath Dogberry he admires Dogberry and looks up to him, he walks in his footsteps. He agrees with everything Dogberry say s that makes him as asinine.

Watchmen ­ – Police men in Messsina.

Borachio – His name means ‘drunkard’ this is fitting as he chatted away about the valiancy he heard Don John had concocted in preventing the marriage of Claudio and Hero. He is Margret lover.

Conrade – he is a good friend of Borachio.

Figures of speech

Figurative devices:

Adage- line 105 “mass, and my elbow itched, I thought there would a scab follow”

Similes- line 110 “I will like a true drunkard, utter all to thee”

Line 132 “a ‘ goes up and down, like a gentleman”

Line 141 “…fashioning them like pharaohs soilders…”

Line 142 “….sometimes like god Bel’s priests”

Line 143 “..sometime like the shaven Hercules “


Noting is a motif used , while Dogberry can be admired for his determination to his work he is also noted to be senseless in noting persons he dose not note people very well as is evident in lines 113-114 ‘ to be a well favored man is the gift of fortune , but to write and read comes by nature ‘ . Here Dogberry determines suitability for duty of watch by their by their ability to read and write. The watch seem to be relatively good noting as they noted the manner in which Borachio behaved and listened to the recollection of his intentional deception and this could thus be a situational irony has the watch was intended to watch over hero while other plot was taking place.

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Ease dropping is also used. The ease dropping by the watch is unintentional but for a good purpose as they overheard Borachio recounting to his friend. The intentional deception for evil cause lines 146-168. This is the anagnorisis (moment of revelation) for the watchman, realizes who barachio really is and not who he appears to be, lines 128-130. Then dramatic irony is present where dogberry is concerned as he fails to see that everyone sees him as illiterate.

Act 3 Scene 4

Analysis and summary:

This scene took place in Hero’s bedroom chamber, which begins with the preparation of the wedding as Margret () helps her to get ready. The two (2) conversed about fashion then changes the conversation to sexual arousment. It is evident the Hero is not happy. There is a mood of sadness and prograncy.

This is protrayed in lines 19

Hero: “God gave me joy to wear it for my heart is exceeding heavy”.

She is nervous about the wedding hence foreshadowing presents itself bringing to the audience attention that something bad is about to happen. This scene echoes Benedick’s friend ridiculing him in act 3 scene 2. Benedick friend mocks him of love giving him a tooth ache and it has now given Beatrice a cold.

Margret teases Beatrice of her cold and this is obvious by her use of pun.

She puns on the words:

Carduus benedictus which is in lines *54*

Light O love in line *33*

which was a popular dance of the day, but punning on the word could also mean ‘loose woman’.

Beatrice finally senses her sarcasm with Margret of heels and barns which like light O love suggest sexually promiscuity. Carduus Benedictus is a remedy for almost every complaint for diseases of the heart.

Act 3 scene 5

Short Summary

In act 3 scene 5 of the play Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato is about to enter the church for his daughter’s wedding. As he was about to do that Dogberry and Verges caught up with him and told him they had caught two criminals and wanted him to be present for the interrogation. Their attempts to establish the nature of their message was so farfetched, and foolish seen that they ended up not been able to convey the importance of the message and it seems they themselves didn’t understand the importance and urgency of it.Despite numerous attempts by Leonato to have them get straight to the point, and be on their way so he can attend the wedding they still had lingered despite seen he was in a great hurry. He told them in the end to question the prisoners themselves and give him the details later. On this note he then enters the church.


In the play the themes of power and attitude to power and authority were evident in the scene and majority of the play. The attitude to language was also sustained by different factors. This was made evident in the play when Dogberry and Verges change their language to a more formal and elaborate one. This was done it seems to present them having noble birth of some sort or that they are noble men.

The theme of power was made clear when Verges keeps agreeing to everything Dogberry says. Dogberry is portrayed as the “Alpha Male” and whatever he says stands without questioning from verges. The Theme of loyalty and trust was also shown in Act 3 scene 5 when Leonato told Dogberry (the constable) and Verges (the head borough) to question the prisoners themselves and report with the results to him. This theme is evident because Dogberry and Verges is loyal to Leonato and he been the governor, trusts them enough to leave them to attend to a important task.

Dramatis Personae

Leonato- In this act Leonato was been annoyed by Dogberry and Verges. Moving with urgency to get to the church before the wedding started, he was stopped by Verges and Dogberry. This did not amuse him at all as evidence of this can be seen in the third line when he says “brief I pray you, for you see it is a busy time with me”. Being anxious for his daughter because she was about to get married, he is completely unaware of the nature and urgency of the news Dogberry and verges had. If he was in some way aware of its content, this would have saved him a great deal of humiliation.

Dogberry- Dogberry is the chief policeman of messina. He is a very serious and sincere officer who takes pride in his job and understands the seriousness of it. He is also the type of person who will use the wrong word to convey his message (line 10). He is one of the few middle class characters in the play and he a desire to speak formally and elaborately like noble men. He brings also brings humor to the audience and annoyance to the people around him.

Figurative devices

Malapropism is the main figure of speech throughout the play. This is the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar sounding one.

Dramatic devices, soliloquies irony and disguise

Dramatic irony- the scene is full of dramatic irony. Because the audience is aware of the importance of the matter. In fact dogberry and verges himself doesn’t understand the importance.

Situational irony- when verges talks saying yes it truly is. Also Dogberry in (line 10).the irony came about because dogberry accuses verges of speaking crap when he himself speaks nonsense.


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