Examine the two songs in the play (Much ado about nothing). Where and how does Shakespeare place them for the most dramatic effect?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The songs appear in Act 2, sc. 3, and in Act 5, sc. 3.  The first of these songs is in the scene where Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonato plot to trick Benedick into believing that Beatrice loves him.  Appropriately, the song is about deception, specifically about how men have been deceivers forever and that should just be accepted as part of their make-up.  Immediately following this scene in Act 3, sc. 1, Hero, Margaret, and Ursula trick Beatrice into believing that Benedick loves her, continuing the theme of deception.  The song in Act 2, lets the audience know that the following deceptions aren't harmful.  The song in Act 5 is about the wrongful death of Hero, whom Claudio thinks died of a broken heart and of shame when he called her a wanton and left her at the alter, refusing to marry her.  Her death (another deception in the play) was faked to make Claudio ashamed, in light of how he was deceived regarding Hero's chastity.  In the 8th line of the song, the lyric is, "Graves, yawn and yield your dead," which is fitting since Hero is not really dead and she will be "yielded".  The placement of the song here tells the audience that Claudio, who is singing the song, is remorseful and that he wishes that Hero would come back to him.  The audience knows Hero is alive and now knows that Claudio will be joyful to find out she is alive.

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Much Ado About Nothing

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