What is the development of the motif of "noting" throughout Much Ado About Nothing? *what is the trend of noting*

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jlcannad eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Do you mean the various notes that the characters use or the way people note (or notice) each other. I'm assuming the latter.

Claudio brings up noting (noticing) Hero very quickly upon returning from the war, asking Benedick, "didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?"  Benedick very clearly makes a distinction between seeing her and noting her, saying that while he saw her, he didn't think she was worth noting.

Balthasar brings up noting in terms of both musical notes and noticing with Don Pedro, telling him that his music is below notice.

Dogberry tells his officers that if someone won't respect the king, they shouldn't take note of it because any subject of the king would be respectful and so anyone who isn't respectful isn't someone they have authority over.

Then, at the end, Benedick tells the Prince to not even think of Don John until tomorrow. 

In each case, a character is commenting on what we choose to notice or value in the world and how that affects the way we see the world.  This theme is clearly evident in Benedick who sees (notes) only Beatrice's sharp tongue until others lead him to believe she is in love with him, at which time he notices so many other aspects of her almost immediately.

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Much Ado About Nothing

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