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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing Lies and Deceit Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line) Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #13

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 tonight, you 
shall see her chamber window entered, even the
night before her wedding day. If you love her then,
to-morrow wed her. But it would better fit your
honor to change your mind. (3.2.102-109)

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 says 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 #14

Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.
I talked with no man at that hour, my lord.
Why, then, are you no maiden. (4.1.90-92)

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

Quote #15

I have marked
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 appeared a fire
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
Trust not my reading nor my observations,
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. (4.1.167-179)

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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