In the play "Much Ado About Nothing" why could Hero be an "archetypal character"?Because she: A. represents what every woman wants to be. B. remains honest despite the...

In the play "Much Ado About Nothing" why could Hero be an "archetypal character"?

Because she:

A. represents what every woman wants to be.
B. remains honest despite the accusations made against her
C. looks beautiful and dresses in white
D. rises from the dead to become the woman she actually is
E. goes through a change at the hands of the comic villain.

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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Yes, I think Hero is something of an archetype. It's one of those parts that, every time I go and see the play, I really hope the actress playing her is going to blow me away and make me realise why it's a brilliant part. It's not happened yet.

To show how Hero's archetypal I'm going to suggest some comparisons elsewhere in Shakespeare.

Having said that, I don't agree with all of the points you make above. Firstly (C) I'm not sure where you get it in the text (as opposed to the Kenneth Branagh film!) that Hero looks beautiful and dresses in white. Claudio certainly thinks she's beautiful, and Friar Francis describes the "angel whiteness" of her skin (Act 4, Scene 1). But nothing about white clothes.

She is certainly honest (B), despite the accusations made against her, just like Desdemona in "Othello" and Hermione in "The Winter's Tale". She certainly rises from the dead (D) like Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet", though she's still the same woman. She isn't "another Hero", only Claudio sees her as one. I'm not sure whether she actually changes at all (E) - she's honest, innocent and loving at the start, and at the end. She's just learnt a bit about the world.

And finally, (A) I'm not sure women would want to be like her. Surely - surely! - people would prefer to be like Beatrice, who, unlike Hero, is very witty, bursting with personality and has a massive heart. Next to Beatrice, Hero does just seem a bland archetype.

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