Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What was Shakespeare trying to teach in Much Ado About Nothing?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,098 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Shakespeare is trying to show in Much Ado About Nothing that appearances—and words—are deceiving. It takes time and an ability to persevere to get to the bottom of who a person is, as people are most often not what they might seem.

We definitely shouldn't rely on another person's word, as Claudio does with Don John, allowing him to frame events so that it looks like Hero is unchaste. Claudio in this case does realize that appearances can be deceiving, but he himself is deceived in how this is so. He renounces the faithful and pure Hero for using her outward beauty to deceive him:

O Hero, what...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 599 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now





check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mstultz72 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,817 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


saghir59 | Student

I think that Shakespeare tries to teach us about the importance of social status at the time. A strong theme throughout the play is of the characters honour and faithfulness. Therefore Shakespeare attempts to sow us how important it is for such characters to withhold their honourable positions.

For example Hero is the greatest teaching in the play where after being accused of unfaithfulness still without questioning she goes back to marry Claudio. Personally I feel that this is not done out of true love but instead it is done to only restore her faithfulness and honour. Simalarly other examples of maintaining a social status are shown when Benedick is forced to 'kill Claudio'. Although he accepted the challenge to prove his love for Beatrice i feel he also accepted the challenge to prove his masculinity as he could never back down from a fight.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial