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Word Count: 2,238
Much Ado About Nothing is a highly successful play and one of the reasons for this is because of the way in which the themes are explored and presented by Shakespeare As well as its light-hearted elements such as the comical exchanges in the merry war between two central characters Beatrice and Benedick and the highly varied exploration of the values tests and rewards of love there are also the more contemplative areas such as the examination of deception misconception and pride Pride has several definitions each of which Shakespeare has approached and demonstrated and this he has done particularly through several of the main characters For example Don John is portrayed as having an excessively high opinion of his self The first reference made to him in Act 1 Scene 1 is when Leonato invites him to stay with the rest of the returned war party saying Let me bid you welcome my lord being reconciled to the Prince your brother This immediately indicates to the audience that there is a colourful history between the two Dons which although is only implied has involved a tension in their relationship caused by Don John The inferred consequence - that Don John remains inwardly humiliated - can be seen through the way in which Don John replies I thank you I am not of many words but I thank you In a different context this could be interpreted as a genuine gesture of gratitude yet later on as the portrayal of Don John is developed further it is suggested more heavily that Don John despises his brother and the company he keeps He declares I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace The audience can infer from this that Don Johns earlier statement of having a limited ability to hold conversations is in actual fact selective and fluctuates depending on the people he is with especially considering the
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