How does Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing incorporate seriousness and comedy/humour to show love, pride and deceit?

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Shakespeare was very good at combining opposing elements in his plays. Often his tragedies contained flashes of humor to lighten up the more serious scenes, just as his comedies dealt with serious issues in a humorous way. In Much Ado about Nothing this holds true. You ask about love, pride, and deceit.These three themes are evident throughout the play, and they can especially be seen in the main characters Beatrice and Benedick. They are both very prideful, especially of their own wit and intelligence, and they spar verbally each time they encounter one another. They are also in love, but they do not even realize it at first, until their friends, seeing what they themselves do not, deceive them each into thinking the other "has a crush." Hero, Margaret, and Ursula trick Beatrice by pretending not to see her nearby and discussing how Benedick "is sick in love with Beatrice" (III i 22).

Another deception is the faked death of Hero because Don John is prideful and wants to make trouble between Hero and Claudio, as well as for Hero's father Leonato. His deception is malevolent, whereas the deception surrounding Beatrice and Benedick is humorous and fun. 

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