Characters of the Play

Much Ado About Nothing is a great comedy including many well thought out characters. With any story, characters are very important, but having more than one main character is something special. Shakespeare gives each character in this play their own personality, which makes them stand apart from each other. I think this aspect gives the play a leg up on the other comedies. Shakespeare creates lively characters who all play major roles in this play.

Hero and Claudio are first to be analyzed because they are the main characters in the play.Hero is a beautiful and quiet woman who is the daughter of the governor of Messina. She does not really have a mind of her own, but instead follows the path best laid out for her. Hero is taken advantage of which leads to her reputation being ruined. Claudio represents an outside force coming into a new land. He is very shy and does not have a lot of confidence. He does not woo Hero himself fearing he would get rejected. Claudio is very gullible as well. He believes Hero cheats on him the night before they are to be wed and leaves her at the altar. This says a lot about him because, just like Hero, he does not think for himself. He make choices based on what will make him look best, instead of truly thinking about his actions.

Beatrice and Benedick are the two most well rounded characters in the play. They are more alike than they would like to admit. Beatrice is the feistiest character of the play. She has a lot of sass and thinks for herself. She is not the kind of woman who lets others rule over her life. She banters with Benedick in the first opening scenes of the play, hinting that she actually does like him. This “Merry war” between Benedick and Beatrice leads to a love neither one of them thought was possible. They both swear off love like it is the most horrible thing in the world, “Beatrice: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me” (1.1.107). She says these words to Benedick almost as to hurt his feelings.

The most interesting thing about these two characters is that half way through the play, they stop making their own choices. In the beginning they refuse to even think about love, but once someone puts the idea into their head, they being to think differently. For characters who once thought of only their selves and did not let others sway their choices, they drastically changed. After being tricked that they secretly love each other, they immediately begin to consider love and eventually get married.


One thought on “Characters of the Play

  1. caitgee7

    I enjoy how you start out this blog post, and I completely agree. In all the plays we’ve looked, there are intricate and unique characters. Each one has their own story or background information; they also can represent a symbol or idea that Shakespeare is playing on.
    I am also interested in what you have to say about Benedick and Beatrice. We have not talked about how they are pushed or tricked into loving each other. It is bizarre, it makes you wonder if there are underlying feeling that they are working on or just suitable mates. Yes, they were friends first, which is different from the other characters falling in love. There is this underlying element of tricking someone into love that I find so bizarre. I’m sure Shakespeare has some underlying meaning for portraying the “falling in love” of these characters in such a manner.


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