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How is the theme of honor presented in Much Ado About Nothing?  

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nailz | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 2, 2008 at 7:03 AM via web

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How is the theme of honor presented in Much Ado About Nothing?

 

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 2, 2008 at 9:44 AM (Answer #1)

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Honor is portrayed in different ways and by different characters in this play.  The lack of honor is shown by Don John as he twice tries to thwart the relationship between Claudio and Hero. Honor is shown by Benedick in Act 4, when he agrees to kill Claudio for Beatrice because Claudio dishonored Hero when he publicly disgraced her by accusing her of not being a virginal bride at what was supposed to be their wedding.  Then later, when it is revealed that Don John was behind the deceit and it was given out that Hero died, Claudio shows honor by agreeing to sing a public epitaph and clear Hero's name.  He also agreed to marry Leonato's "other niece", whom he'd never met, as a way of atoning for having caused Hero's death. Even Dogberry and the watchmen show honor when they arrest Borachio and Conrade for their parts in the plot to make Hero look like she was being unfaithful. 

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