Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blog 11: Hero & Claudio

This Blog is about Much Ado about Nothing, in class we have been reading this play by Shakespeare and  this entry focuses on the courtship during the playwright's time.

Based on the acts and the movie we saw, the way in which marriage came about was like a business transaction. Hero in this case is nothing more than merchandise with a warranty. Don Pedro and Claudio talk about Leonato's heir, in this case it was only Hero. Therefore, what ever was Leonato's becomes Claudio's once him and Hero are married. 

The situation is very complex to understand, on one hand he asks about Leonato's heir. This makes it seem like he is interested in Leonato's inheritance. However, on the other hand he explains that when he first saw Hero before he went to war he was stricken by her beauty but the thought of war was far too consuming to think of matters of the heart. Then when he returns victorious he feels confidant and when he sees Hero once again he feels that he is "sick with love" for her, and he wishes to be married.

The courtship back in the Shakespearean era was a few meetings with the family of the bride and a few exchanges of words between the couple. Then it is off to the ceremony and then the night of the wedding, which the bride must be a maid in order for her to have all the riches her father leaves her. Another reason why she must be a maid is because if she has lost her virtue she is nothing in that society but a whore or a temptress. The honor of women was based on her chastity.

Do I think that Claudio truly loves Hero? Not really, I think it is lust and business more than love. I don't think you can truly love someone in that short amount of time. For matters of the heart, I believe that getting to know someone is very important. In the partnership between Claudio and Hero, there isn't enough time for them to truly love each other. I think that there may be physical attraction and lust, but not love. Love takes longer to develop and I think that in this era they didn't really care about the true feelings they felt for each other as long as there was stability and the woman was a virtuous maid without losing her honor. They cared more for the appearance and what the people thought than what the couple felt for one another.  It seems though that after the lie Don John plants in Claudio's head that he becomes jealous of Don Pedro. He believes that letting someone else do the work doesn't pay off because the attraction can make a loyal friend turn on them and just act for themselves. Claudio really seems hurt by the lie because he may have feelings for Hero after all... I just don't think they are real love.

1 comment:

  1. If we are to be really unkind to the character, we could argue that he is just jealous because another man got his prize "jewel" (as he calls her in Act 1).