| Quote #4
Balthasar sings that men are faithless dogs, but rather than chide them to be better, Balthasar’s song suggests that the remedy lies in women changing their paradigms about men. If women would simply decide to accept that men are awful, then they’d never get hurt by their cheating husbands/lovers (and men could continue to behave badly without any hassle). The notion here is that men should not have to change (a "boys will be boys" idea), women should change (their perspective on men) to accommodate their men.
| Quote #5
Is it surprising that Hero’s not stoked on her wedding day? Not really, considering she’s never even really spoken to Claudio as far as we know. In addition, Hero’s been told what to do by her father for her whole life, and given what we know about old school marriage, she’s about to transition into being told what to do by her husband for the rest of her life. This is a function of her marriage, but it’s also a fact of her gender; women held a special role in marriage of being the ones that were taken by their husbands (both literally and figuratively), and that’s an awful lot to chew on.
| Quote #6
This is an important reminder that a woman’s virginity was central to making her marriageable in Shakespeare’s day. Leonato tries to cover for his child, saying if perhaps Hero gave her virginity to Claudio before the wedding, it was only because she was already thinking of Claudio as her husband. This is a crucial point, as while women like Beatrice might be equal to men like Benedick in wit, there were still some areas of gender equality that had not yet been conceived of. A woman’s virginity was the crux of her marriage, and her future husband could reject her as worthless without it, no matter how wonderful or brilliant she was.