By Richard O. Peterson
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Extra info for Much Ado About Nothing (Cliffs Notes)
And finally, when Benedick suggests dancing before the wedding, try to insist on the wedding first, but when that doesn’t change Benedick’s mind, go 45 along with the dancing. And worry about punishment of the culprits another day. Is Leonato changed? Not outwardly, although he may have greater faith in his own daughter and less respect for so-called nobles. ”). His men discover the deception by Don John — through their noting — but the deception is finally brought to full exposure in spite of Dogberry’s efforts rather than because of them.
George Seacoal, the watchman, gives his evidence, reporting Borachio’s overheard statement to Conrade that Don John was a villain who had bribed him to accuse Hero falsely. Borachio does not deny this. The sexton tells all of them that Don John has secretly gone away and that Hero has died. He instructs that the prisoners be 33 brought to Leonato for judgment, and Conrade makes one final attempt to insult Dogberry, calling him “an ass,” to which Dogberry takes great offense. Commentary This brief scene makes Don John’s treachery public, despite the clumsy examination by Dogberry and Verges.
When Claudio’s wedding is disrupted, he runs away, leaving his coconspirator behind unpaid — perhaps a fatal error. Might he have felt any remorse at hearing that Hero died of her shame? Probably not. Anyway, he has been caught and will return for his punishment, at least partly shaped by Benedick. Is Don John a changed person? Probably not, but then we wouldn’t expect true villains to change, especially in a comedy. LEONATO Leonato is at the center of events from beginning to end. After the formal welcome of Don Pedro, we tend to forget that Leonato is the governor of Messina, at least until he is asked to consider the fate of Dogberry’s prisoners.