Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, why does Don John not want Claudio to marry Hero and sabotage the wedding?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are a couple of reasons why Don John tries to sabotage Hero's wedding. One reason is that Don John blames Claudio for preventing him from overthrowing his brother. Apparently, when Don John tried to overturn his brother's rule, Claudio, as Don Pedro's right-hand man, devised some clever tactics to prevent the overthrow and win this civil war for Don Pedro. Hence, Don John would love to get even with Claudio by hurting him in any way he can. The second and main reason why he wants to sabotage Claudio's wedding is that since Claudio and Don Pedro are close, by hurting Claudio, Don John...

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wanderista | Student

That young start-up hath all the
glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I
bless myself every way.

and 

Though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain.

are the key quotations that explain Don John's actions. Don John is a purely evil character, a classic antagonist. He enjoys causing trouble; it feeds his inner satisfaction. Don John has never liked Claudio, and messing with his wedding will prove very satisfying for him. This explains why Don John wanted to cause chaos at Hero and Claudio's wedding.

tbrowe | Student

In addition to the information already provided.... Claudio has been rising in social standing and notice, especially with Don Pedro.  Don Jon sees him filling the role that he should fill were he not an illigitimate son.  As Don Jon falls farther and farther from grace and the throne, Claudio grows ever closer to it.  Don JOn is in part motivated by jealousy.

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revolution | Student

He is the noblest character in the social hierarchy and also the ultimate and main villain of the play. He always uses his power and his authority to positive ends but sometimes manipulates and deceives other people. It was his royal prerogative to do what he wants and what he pleases without any consideration to other people's feelings, and he won't be pulled back or undone by other people except himself.

So that's why he rejected Claudio to confess his love Hero but on the other hand, he insists of wooing Hero for Claudio himself. This shows that he likes manipulating people- which he is best in, just for the fun of it

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brat | Student

As Don John was born out of wedlock, he is traditionally percieved as a "bad guy". He says himself, that he rejoices in others misery. The Elizabethan audience would have expected him to be a bitter man, as he is a "bastard" - he has no claim to inheritance etc... therefore he enjoys ruining others pleasure!

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readingbooks17 | Student

Don John is the play's villain and largely an unmotivated villain at that. He describes himself as having an anti-social nature that will not try to fit in with others. He won't laugh at someone else's jokes or eat at someone else's meal time but, rather, will do things as he pleases, when he pleases. Don John operates by will. What he wishes is what he will do, undirected and unrestrained by others.

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