Much Ado About Nothing: Tragic Play

Megan Skalitzky

The play Much Ado About Nothing often is considered a comedy, but numerous major events make the readers scared and sad causing it to be a tragedy.

Don John Lying to Everyone

In the beginning of the play, the mood becomes much darker as the readers or viewers find out about how corrupt Don John truly is. He is extremely lonely and doesn’t want anyone else to have pleasure in life, so he makes an evil plan to ruin the romance between Claudio and Hero. He forces his servant, Borachio, to have sex with his partner. Also, they pretend it is Borachio and Hero having sex. Don John then shows Claudio what is supposedly Borachio and Hero. Since this act was dishonest, it was a negative influence on their relationship; therefore, this play is not a comedy. This event causes Claudio to now hate Hero, and now Claudio has no desire to marry her the following day. Don John formed a horrible plot that completely changed the mood of the play to sadness because the readers and viewers know it is a lie.

Batrayal to Hero

Secondly, after everyone finds out what Claudio saw, many people betrayed Claudio and refused to believe her. At the wedding, Claudio becomes angry at Hero causing the wedding to stop. Everyone is in shock about the news regarding Hero having sex with another man. Furthermore, this is a dark moment in the play. He left the wedding with Hero on the ground crying. Hero feels extremely confused about what just happened because she did not do what Claudio accused her of performing. Hero’s dad doesn’t even believe her, and he slaps her. No one believes Hero’s story besides Beatrice. Therefore, this act is an absolute betrayal to Hero by Don John, Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonardo. All of the audience or readers know she is innocent and because of this, the mood stays very dark. As a result, no one is laughing; the characters were just miserable or furious. In conclusion, this play often feels more like a tragedy than a comedy.

Don John Ending to his life

Thirdly, Hero is eventually proven not guilty of the crime, which leads to a major consequence for Don John. The mood is happy about the news of the lie until Don John enters the scene; the mood becomes dark again by the evilness of him and the upcoming consequence of Don John. He has acted unkindly, so the result of his act will be very dark and tragic. Although the play doesn’t show the exact consequence, the viewers or the readers know it will not be civil. This causes the play to once again be more tragic than comic.

In conclusion, this play is said to be a comedy, but due to the fact of Don John’s evil plan, the betrayal of Hero, and the consequence to Don John, this play often feels more like a tragedy.

The Wedding Scene
Keanu Reeves and Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"

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