Discuss the character of Don John and his role in "Much Ado About Nothing".

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don John is the half brother of the prince, Don Pedro.  He is the bastard brother since his parents, unlike Don Pedro's, weren't married.  He is angry and bitter and he is jealous because he is only the bastard brother and not a prince like Don Pedro.  For this reason, he wants to destroy any joy or happiness that Don Pedro might have, even if it's only peripheral happiness at seeing one of his (Don Pedro's) men happy.  That is why Don John decides he wants to create havoc and ruin the relationship between Claudio and Hero.  Claudio is one of Don Pedro's best officers and one of Don Pedro's best friends.  Don Pedro likes his friend, Claudio, so much that he tells Claudio that he will woo Hero for him.  Don John finds out that Don Pedro is doing that and purposely lets Claudio "find out" that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself.  When that misconception is cleared up and the wedding is set, Don John again decides to destroy the relationship.  This time, Don John makes it look like Hero is cheating on Don Pedro with one of Don John's men.  In the end, Don John and his deceits are exposed and he is arrested.  He is the antagonist in the play.

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Much Ado About Nothing

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