Illustration of Hero wearing a mask

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, what conclusions can be drawn from Don Pedro's conversation with Hero?

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In classic Elizabethan style, Don Pedro, who is more experienced in life, tells his young soldier Claudio that he will court (or woo) Hero for him:

"And I will fit thee with the remedy.
I know we shall have revelling to-night.(280)
I will assume thy part in some disguise
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale.(285)
Then after to her father will I break;
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine"(I.i.279-287).

The excerpt above is Don Pedro informing Claudio how he will talk with Hero. First, he will disguise himself at the party that night and introduce himself to Hero as Claudio. Then he will get her alone and tell her a loving "tale," which means he will talk to her about love and get her into his good graces by being charming and witty. After he has Hero melting under his charms, he will leave her and then find her father. He will tell Hero's father about how he wooed Hero in Claudio's name and how Claudio wishes to marry his daughter.

Don Pedro doesn't meet Hero at the party until the beginning of the second act. He disguises himself and playfully talks with her and asks her to go for a walk with him. And, that's all the audience sees or hears. Because Don Pedro plots out the plan beforehand in Act one, there's no reason for Shakespeare to go into greater detail than that in Act II. This is also a typical way that Shakespeare leaves the rest of the discussion up to the audience to fill in. Successful reports that come back after a discussion has apparently taken place off stage is fun and intreguing for the audience to appreciate.

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