Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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Why did Claudio refuse to marry Hero in Much Ado About Nothing?

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Claudio refused to marry Hero because he thought that she was cheating on him.

Claudio was tricked, by Don John, into thinking that Hero was cheating on him with another man.  He did not actually see anything.  What he saw was Hero’s maid, Margaret, at a window, and he thought that it was something else.  Don John arranged the whole thing to discredit Hero.  They say some people are in love with love.  Don John is in love with hate.

In Act 2, Scene 2, Don John and Borachio designed the insult to Hero’s honor.  They would make it look like Hero was with another man, when really it wasn’t Hero at all—it was just her window.

BORACHIO

I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night,
appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.

DON JOHN

What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage? (Act 2, Scene 2)

Then Don John just had to make sure that Claudio went to the window and saw “Hero” doing the dirty deed.  He would then doubt his girl.   Don John tells Claudio...

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