Much Ado About Nothing Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing book cover
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Is much ado about nothing an exploration of male insecurities?

Much Ado About Nothing is on one level an exploration of male insecurities. For example, because Don Pedro is insecure about losing face and because Claudio is insecure about being truly lovable to Hero, Don John finds it easy to manipulate both men into believing Hero is unfaithful to Claudio.

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Much Ado About Nothing can be seen as an exploration of male insecurities. This is especially clear in the main plot, in which Don John finds it easy to manipulate both Claudio and Don Pedro into believing false stories about Hero.

Don John is a bitter, malevolent, and envious villain who can't stand the happiness Claudio attains when he falls in love with the chaste and beautiful Hero. Don John is galled when Hero agrees to marry Claudio. Don John decides to destroy Claudio's happiness by convincing him that Hero is unfaithful. He does this by telling Claudio and Don Pedro that Hero is involved with another man. Don John then arranges, while Claudio and Don Pedro are listening at Hero's window, for Borachio to go into Hero's bedroom and pretend to be her lover. Actually, the woman he speaks to is not Hero, but Hero's maid Margaret.

Don Pedro is insecure, always worried about reputation and appearance, so he is easily convinced that Hero would betray and ruin Claudio's reputation. Claudio himself is insecure about being truly lovable to Hero. Therefore, he also falls for this contrived story. A more secure man would have confronted his fiancee and tried to work the situation out with her rather than believe Don John's machinations. Badly humiliating Hero at the altar also shows how very insecure Claudio is: he is so sure of being hurt that he wants to publicly save face by hurting Hero in a cruel way before she can hurt him.