Notes on Much Ado about Nothing Themes

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Much Ado about Nothing Topic Tracking: Faithfulness

Act 1, Scenes 1-3

Faithfulness 1: John the Bastard has no faithfulness to his brother, his country, or his family. He revels in causing villainy and trouble with others. His companions, Borachio and Conrade, do have faithfulness to him, however. They are faithful to this evil brother and follow him in his pursuits to cause mischief in Messina.

Act 2, Scenes 1-3

Faithfulness 2: Benedick does not understand the problem between Claudio and Don Pedro. Claudio believes Don Pedro to be unfaithful to his word and to have wooed Hero for himself. Claudio is enraged because of this supposed unfaithfulness between two friends.

Faithfulness 3: Everyone in Messina has faith in Don Pedro and agrees to help him with his task of matchmaking Beatrice with Benedick. Without question, their faith lies in his ability and strength to accomplish any and all tasks. As yet, there is no reason to lose faith in any character, for honor is such an important quality in this time. It is earned and when lost, it is hard to regain.

Faithfulness 4: Don John's master plan of deception involves the most precious virtue, faithfulness. He plans to establish unfaithfulness between Claudio and Hero. He orchestrates the plot of Borachio and Margaret outside Hero's window so that Claudio and the prince will see Borachio and Margaret (as Hero). Claudio will see Hero's supposed unfaithfulness and call off the wedding.

Act 3, Scenes 1-5

Faithfulness 5: Faithfulness 5: Claudio and Don Pedro witness the disloyalty of Hero. They believe her to be unfaithful and Claudio plans to disgrace her at the public wedding in the morning. Unfaithfulness and disloyalty seem to be the worst possible virtues to a person at this time.

Faithfulness 6: Dogberry and Verges are the prince's officers and swear allegiance to his command. They faithfully control the night watch and report to Leonato if problems arise. Although at times inept, they value faith to one another and to the prince.

Faithfulness 7: Dogberry is still faithful to his position and knocks on the door of Leonato to follow instructions on what to do since he has captured some villains. He is faithful, once again, to his position and to those in higher power than himself.

Act 4, Scenes 1-2

Faithfulness 8: Friar Francis, Beatrice, and Benedick never lose faith that Hero is innocent of the accusations brought against her. Friar Francis comes up with the plan to feign Hero's death to prove her innocence and faithfulness to Claudio. At first, Leonato believes that Hero is guilty and wants her dead. This immediate reaction proves that faithfulness is vitally important to reputation. If Hero is guilty, she is therefore unfaithful. That type of unfaithfulness is so disgraceful that even a father cannot live with the shame.

Act 5, Scenes 1-4

Faithfulness 9: Borachio admits to his folly and his companion, John the Bastard's guilt. Although his actions were unfaithful to humanity, they were faithful to Don John. When Borachio tells the truth, he is faithful to himself for telling the truth and unfaithful to John the Bastard by turning him in.

Faithfulness 10: When Ursula tells Beatrice and Benedick of the good news that Hero, Claudio, and Don Pedro have been proven innocent, they revel in their glory. They never doubted Hero's innocence and always held faith in her.

Faithfulness 11: Claudio must promise to marry and be faithful to the supposed Hero before he sees her face. He says he will marry her and be faithful. Hero removes her mask to reveal her true living body. Hero never let her faith die in Claudio and wins her man through her undying faith in his love.

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