Reputations in Much Ado About Nothing seem to be easily made and just as easily lost. The primary conflict of the play surrounds Hero, one of the female leads, unfairly losing her reputation as loyal and chaste woman. In addition, much of the interesting action happens because reputations are in no way guaranteed to be accurate. What’s said or believed about a character, though it’s taken as gospel, is as likely to be true as it is false. For example, we hear a report of Claudio before we meet him, and though the messenger praises Claudio’s maturity, Claudio proceeds to be immature for the remainder of the play. Finally, reputation also impacts how characters view themselves; characters who get wind that they have a bad reputation often attempt to improve themselves. Overall, reputation is not a reliable gauge of character in Much Ado About Nothing.
Reputation is more important than love to Hero and Claudio.
In Much Ado About Nothing, reputation is in no way related to the depth of a person’s character.