The social anxiety around his illegitimate birth seems to make him what he is: ‘a plain-dealing villain’.In Elizabethan society, the fact that he’s a bastard automatically makes him evil.
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Qualities such as the ability to take personal revenge on men like Claudio, openly defy father-figures like Leonato, or even simply to fall in love with a person of her choosing and for her affection not to be seen as weakness, nor her sexual desires be used as evidence of her inconstant character. Shakespeare’s play grapples with a variety of things: gender, friendship, banter, shaming, trickery, hypocrisy, and even the nature of evil, just to name a few.
But while the play doesn’t deal with ‘nothing’, there is ‘much ado’ about quite a lot.
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When Leonato introduces Don Pedro to his daughter Hero, he immediately makes a joke about whether or not his daughter is actually his.
This doesn’t appear to be said in a self-deprecating way.
’ cries Beatrice after her cousin, Hero, has been left at the altar on her wedding day.
When Beatrice says this, what she means is that she wishes that, as a woman, she were entitled to the qualities that men are not only allowed to have, but are celebrated for.