Homework Help

Why does Don John hate Claudio? Why do Don Pedro and Claudio believe Don Johns...

user profile pic

derekj1507 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 3, 2007 at 6:58 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Why does Don John hate Claudio?
Why do Don Pedro and Claudio believe Don Johns accusations of a secret affair?

Please answer quickly

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted October 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 2 like

That young start-up hath all the
glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I
bless myself every way.

and 

Though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain.

are the key quotations that explain Don John's actions. Don John is a purely evil character, a classic antagonist. He enjoys causing trouble; it feeds his inner satisfaction. Don John has never liked Claudio, and messing with his wedding will prove very satisfying for him.

user profile pic

blacksheepunite | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted June 3, 2007 at 12:59 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Don John tells us why he hates Claudio in Act 1, Scene 2:

That young start-up hath all the
glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I
bless myself every way.

Don John is something of a malcontent, and hates almost everyone; however, he has some special hatred in his heart for a few people.

The first is his half brother, Don Pedro, the prince and heir to the throne that Don John has just tried unsuccessfully to steal. Claudio is his half-brother's right-hand man. He is young and, according to Don John, arrogant and undeserving of power (he calls him an "upstart").

What has really angered Don John is that he thinks that Claudio has been responsible for and has benefited from his overthrow. So anything he can do to make Claudio's life miserable will be pleasing to Don John.

Sources:

user profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 4, 2007 at 2:18 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

Don Pedro and Claudio believe the accusations because the of the "proof" that has been presented. Believing that Margaret is Hero based on the view the "see", it is easy to accept Don John's word. This is a large theme in this story and many of Shakespeare's stories, the problems associated with communication and with assumptions. It was, in Renaissance time, referred to as "noting". Here is a summary:

Noting
In Shakespeare’s time, the “Nothing” of the title would have been pronounced “Noting.” Thus, the play’s title could read: “Much Ado About Noting.” Indeed, many of the players participate in the actions of observing, listening, and writing, or noting. In order for a plot hinged on instances of deceit to work, the characters must note one another constantly. When the women manipulate Beatrice into believing that Benedick adores her, they conceal themselves in the orchard so that Beatrice can better note their conversation. Since they know that Beatrice loves to eavesdrop, they are sure that their plot will succeed: “look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs / Close by the ground to hear our conference,” notes Hero (III.i.24–25). Each line the women speak is a carefully placed note for Beatrice to take up and ponder; the same is true of the scheme to convince Benedick of Beatrice’s passion.
Don John’s plot to undo Claudio also hinges on noting: in order for Claudio to believe that Hero is unchaste and unfaithful, he must be brought to her window to witness, or note, Margaret (whom he takes to be Hero) bidding farewell to Borachio in the semidarkness. Dogberry, Verges, and the rest of the comical night watch discover and arrest Don John because, although ill-equipped to express themselves linguistically, they overhear talk of the Margaret--Borachio staging. Despite their verbal deficiencies, they manage to capture Don John and bring him to Leonato, after having had the sexton (a church official) “note” the occurrences of the evening in writing. In the end, noting, in the sense of writing, unites Beatrice and Benedick for good: Hero and Claudio reveal love sonnets written by Beatrice and Benedick, textual evidence that notes and proves their love for one another.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes