Shakespeare uses Don Pedro and Don John as foil characters, each being the exact opposite of the other. To put it simply, the difference is that Don John is a bad man, and Don Pedro is a good man. The two are half-brothers, Don Pedro the Prince of Aragon, and Don John his bastard brother. At the start of the play, the reader is informed that Don Pedro and Don John have only recently become agreeable.
Don Pedro is portrayed as a good and honorable prince, and when he is introduced it is said he has just returned from the winning of a war. Don John, on the other hand, is the cause of said war and is who Don Pedro had to fight against.
This is part of why it is strange for Don Pedro to be kind and accepting of his brother. In Shakespeare’s day, illegitimate children were always thought to be dishonest and were usually ostracized. Don Pedro’s willingness to care for Don John, especially right after they fought, shows a sense of trust and respect. Meanwhile, Don John reveals that he hates...
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