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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing Lies and Deceit Quotes

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Quote #1

DON JOHN The word is too good to paint out her wickedness. I could say she were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant. Go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber window ent'red, even the night before her wedding day. If you love her then, to-morrow wed her. But it would better fit your honour to change your mind. (3.2.109)

Again, Don John uses manipulation to plant the seeds of suspicion. He doesn’t give any details about Hero’s disloyalty; but instead, he just he’ll prove it to them later, and gives them the whole afternoon to imagine the girl’s transgressions. What’s true is often not as bad as what we can imagine is true, especially if we’re lured in by suspicion.

Quote #2

CLAUDIO Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. HERO I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. DON PEDRO Why, then are you no maiden. (4.1.85)

In a fit of Shakespearean irony, Hero is condemned as a deceiver for telling the truth.

Quote #3

FRIAR FRANCIS I have mark'd A thousand blushing apparitions To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames In angel whiteness beat away those blushes, And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire To burn the errors that these princes hold Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool; Trust not my reading nor my observation, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenure of my book; trust not my age, My reverence, calling, nor divinity, If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here Under some biting error. (4.1.158)

The Friar trusts that his eyes, and everything he’s ever known about Hero, don’t deceive him. His judgment implicitly calls into question the judgment of her accusers. Something isn’t right, and Friar Francis is willing to bet his learning, observation, and even his Godliness on it. He knows he’s not deceived by Hero, therefore the others have been deceived by the accusers.

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