Claudio seems like a chump who just wants to get married to anyone so he can celebrate his wedding night with a virgin. Not only does he come across as someone who wants to get it in with a virgin, he also comes across as a bit stupid because he fell for Don John’s trick so easily.
Claudio says to Don Predro: “If I see anything tonight why I should not marry her, tomorrow, in the congregation where I should wed, there will I shame her.” His reaction to Don John’s accusations make him seem like a big ass. For starts, he does not really see anything, rather he lets his imagination run while with the possibility of Hero not being a virgin. Secondly, he promises to embarrass her and humiliate her on her wedding day, in front of friends and family, simply for his misunderstanding. At the wedding scene, Claudio continues to shame Hero and Leonato.
Claudio: There Leonato, take her back again.
Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor….
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed.
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.”
Claudio is so insecure with himself, probably because he himself has experienced many females and does not want to be made a fool through marrying someone rumored to be promiscuous. Leonato continues with saying “Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?” and Hero falls to the floor. Then Claudio exits the stage! What is that? If he really did love her he would have helped her, regardless of what the rumors about her were. He left her during her time of need, which was caused by him! He only reaction is to run away and leave her “dead” and “lifeless” body for someone else to take care of.
After plan is created to make Hero pretend to be dead, Claudio agrees to marry Leonato’s brother’s daughter. Is he so stupid that he would think Leonato believes him nobel enough (even after being responsible for the “murder” of Hero, someone who he “loves” and wants as his wife) to marry another of Leonato’s family? Does Claudio really think Leonato is like “Oh yea! He humiliated my daughter on her wedding day, spread some nasty rumors about her, called her a skank, then she died, but its ok you’re a cool guy come marry my niece!” And Claudio is like “Awesome! Now I get another change at a virgin!” Somewhere his logic is flawed and it shows him as being an egotistical man who cares about no one other than himself.
All the meantime another trick is being set up where Hero masks herself in order to trick Claudio into actually marrying her. Claudio’s stupidity continues as he agrees to marry this mysterious niece without seeing her face. As Hero unmasks herself saying “And when I lived I was your other wife; And when you loved, you were my other husband.” And foolish Claudio responds by saying “Another Hero!” No you idiot! Its the same person! They were playing a trick on you! But Claudio does not get it! He thinks that everyone loves him. He thinks that a woman would agree to marry him, despite he is believed to be a murderer. Furthermore, Hero is equally as brainless because she actually wants to marry him despite of what he did to her. He gossiped about her, continued a false rumor about her, ruined her initial wedding day, then he “killed” her with his slanderous words. But Hero doesn’t tell him to go to hell, instead she marries him and they live happily ever after. If I were Hero, I would be very cautious about what this man can do. He has proven himself to be dull, unintelligent, gullible, capable or murder without seeing himself as a subject for punishment, and he easily moves on to the next “wife” when he thinks she is dead. All of this is a bad bad mix for a husband.