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Don John-That BASTARD Johann Kasper Lavater once said The jealous are possessed by a mad devil and dull spirit at the same time In Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare the portrayal of Don John the bastard brother of Don Pedro demonstrates the true meaning of jealousy According to Websters NewWorld Dictionary jealousy means resentful envy Don John exhibits envy towards Don Pedro and his property and even towards the happiness Claudio holds Don Johns jealousy leads to the deceitful acts around which the play revolves Don Johns horrendous acts deceive Claudio into believing that his fiance Hero acted unfaithfully on the eve of their marriage This act and the following events show how Don John takes pleasure in others pain and pain in others pleasure Shakespeare emphasizes the point that the causing of mischief comes naturally to those who have as much envy and jealousy as Don John First Don John displays much envy and resent in his brothers Don Pedro property and authority and plans to cause misfortune as soon as possible One can clearly see this in the conversations Don John has with his followers Don John says I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace I iii 25 This demonstrates how Don John hates the fact that Don Pedro has more authority than he does This also demonstrates that Don John despises the way Don Pedro casts a shadow over him Don John goes on to say If I had my mouth I would bite if I had my liberty I would do my liking I iii 32-34 Don John thinks himself robbed of freedom by his brother and makes up his mind to cause mishap on the village of Messina This just emphasizes the fact that the thought of causing evil comes instinctively the wicked Don John has it planted in his mind that at every possible chance he will cause some
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