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Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

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How do significant events determine destiny in love relationships in Much Ado About Nothing?

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Love in Much Ado About Nothing is both precarious and enduring. On the one hand, significant events upset the romantic relationships. The lovers almost do not end up together. On the other hand, the relationships eventually unite harmoniously. For example, Hero and Claudio liked one another before he left for war. It is only after Claudio returns that he can feel “thronging soft and delicate desires” instead of focusing merely on war. War is one circumstance that might have prevented Claudio and Hero from ever getting together. If Claudio had died, their feelings would never have developed.

Then Claudio is too nervous to woo Hero for himself. If Don Pedro had not helped him, perhaps he would not have mustered up the courage to ask for her hand in marriage. Claudio and Hero’s wedding is a crisis that nearly destroys their relationship. Claudio, who falsely believes Hero has been unfaithful, publicly shames her. This disaster is overcome because Hero’s innocence is proven and Claudio expresses sufficient penance to please Hero’s father. This romantic journey was clearly hazardous, but, in the end, Hero and Claudio must have been destined for marriage and love.

Beatrice and Benedick also face many challenges on their way to love. If it weren’t for meddling friends, their pride and mutual antagonism would have blocked any romance before it even started. They also have a difficult time when Claudio slanders Hero, Beatrice’s cousin. She sides with Hero, and he reluctantly takes her side, agreeing to duel his friend. Still, in the end, Beatrice and Benedick admit their love for one another. In the play, love is both delicate and powerful.

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