The Growth Of Claudio Essay

1580 words - 7 pages

In the time of William Shakespeare where courtship and romance were often overshadowed by the need to marry for social betterment and to ensure inheritance, emerges a couple from Much Ado About Nothing, Hero and Claudio, who must not only grow as a couple, who faces deception and slander, but as individuals. Out of the couple, Claudio, a brave soldier respected by some of the highest ranked men during his time, Prince Don Pedro and the Governor of Messina, Leonato, has the most growing to do. Throughout the play, Claudio’s transformation from an immature, love-struck boy who believes gossip and allows himself to easily be manipulated is seen when he blossoms into a mature young man who admits to his mistakes and actually has the capacity to love the girl he has longed for.
The first sign of Claudio’s immaturity is how easily he falls in and out of love. In Act 1, Scene 1, Claudio says to Benedict, “I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife” after merely taking in the beauty of Hero (Shakespeare 1.1.9). There is no real substance yet to his love for Hero other than outward appearance, much like any person young and naïve with love. When Claudio asks Don Pedro, “Hath Leonato any sons, my lord?” helps the reader develop a further understanding of Claudio and what could be his true motive for wanting to marry Hero, the only heir to her Leonato (1.1.13). Another sign of the fickleness of Claudio is when told by Don Jon, the bastard, that Hero has affections toward Don Pedro his best friend, he swears off his love for Hero by saying, “This is an accident of hourly proof. Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero” (2.1.24). After having Don Pedro ask Leonato for his permissions to marry Hero, another sign of Claudio’s immaturity, Don Pedro asks about the intended wedding day, to which Claudio says, “Tomorrow, my lord. Time goes on crutches till Love have all his rites” (2.1.30). But then, Claudio worries that his love for Hero might seem too sudden, and wishes he could talk about it for longer. Claudio’s thoughts and his actions often seem to contradict each other more as the play develops, and as he emerges as less of a static character. As a reader, one admires Claudio’s view on love and his desire for it, but his impulsiveness and poor decision making skills make it hard to fully love him as a character.
Claudio finds himself in situations throughout most of the play because of how easily he believes gossip and is manipulated. At the masquerade ball, in which Don Pedro was to woo Hero for the sake of Claudio, came about misunderstandings which shifted the course of the play and highlighted one of the key themes in Much Ado About Nothing, deception. Claudio is deceived by Don John who says that Don Pedro has gone back on his word and is trying to win Hero for himself. Claudio being the believer of gossip he is, has no request for definite proof nor passionately questions the allegations brought...

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