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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

Much Ado About Nothing Lies and Deceit Quotes

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

Quote #1

DON PEDRO
You embrace your charge too willingly. [Turning
to Hero.] I think this is your daughter.
LEONATO
Her mother hath many times told me so.
BENEDICK
Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her? (1.1.101-104)

The first mention we have of a married couple (Leonato and his absent wife) is a joke about whether that wife may have deceived Leonato about the parentage of their child. Marriage is set up to be lampooned, but it seems that deception is expected as a natural part of marriage.

Quote #2

BENEDICK
Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a
high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too
little for a great praise. Only this commendation I
can afford her, that were she other than she is, she
were unhandsome, and being no other but as she is,
I do not like her.
CLAUDIO
Thou thinkest I am in sport. I pray thee tell
me truly how thou lik'st her. (1.1.167-172)

Claudio can’t accept that Benedick has nothing more to say about Hero than that she’s short, dark, and too small. He thinks Benedick is lying about his honest feelings, which supports the notion that Benedick doesn’t often say what he thinks. Benedick prefers to deceive humorously over speaking truthfully.

Quote #3

CLAUDIO
Can the world buy such a jewel?
BENEDICK
Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you
this with a sad brow? Or do you play the flouting
Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and
Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a
man take you to go in the song? (1.1.177-182)

Benedick, in turn, can’t believe that Claudio is really being honest either—he wonders whether Claudio can possibly love this girl—maybe because the young man noticed her just ten minutes ago, maybe because Hero’s not attractive.

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