This Blog entry is about the symbolic meaning in the play Much ado About Nothing, of the unmasking that takes place when Claudio is about to marry Leonato's "niece."
In the play right before Claudio marries the real Hero that is veiled he wishes to remove the veil and see his bride. He is not allowed to do so because they want the full effect of the rebirth of a new Hero.
Hero "died" because of the slander that Claudio spread of her being with Borrachio. They faked her death in order to give the symbolic meaning of her innocence. She had never been with a man, she was a maid and in front of the people of the town she was made out to be some whore. So she dies from the lies said about her chastity. This is an important part of the play because after her death Hero would be reborn as the same Hero that she was, innocent. Her slander would die with her because it was never true and instead she is seen as an innocent girl who dies cause of lies.
Do we have a new Claudio? I think that in some form or another he is consumed with guilt for "killing" Hero. He feels badly for his actions in front of everyone. So by Claudio's acceptance of the mourning in her honor he has been transformed into a more humbled Count. His pride and rage have been replaced by sorrow and longing for his bride to be that is no longer alive because of his own tongue. Therefore his is somewhat reborn as well.
Beatrice and Benedick, they are unmasked because in the beginning they try to deny their love for each other. However, Claudio and Hero both steal the writing that Benedick has written to Beatrice, and Beatrice's to Benedick. This is the proof that they against their hands have written what they feel in their hearts for one another. I feel that when it comes to their "rebirth" Benedick is no longer the free bachelor that dislikes women. He has truly found someone whom is if fond of and does want to share his company with. However, Beatrice has always been outspoken. This I have liked about her because she states what she feels without letting anyone influence her how she should be. She has always defended women and their honor as well. But once Benedick kisses her, he has won and Beatrice and her feisty self have been silenced.
So do I feel that these are their true selves? In the case of Hero and Claudio, Hero is still the same innocent virgin that she always was, her death and rebirth are just symbolic in order to save face.
Claudio is a little different, he is calmer and more willing to see error so therefore I believe he has been humbled by his own doing. This new Claudio is still the same Claudio from before I just think that he would think more before he accuses harshly.
Benedick, he has changed because he went from being a Bachelor and disliking marriage into falling in love and wanting to be with Beatrice, no matter what circumstances. He was even willing to kill his own friend in order to be in Beatrice's grace and prove his love for her.
Beatrice, this is the only character that I feel has lost her spirit, yes she may have fallen in love, but she was so outspoken and now she has been made to be like Hero. Docile and submissive, which were not her characteristics before. She has become a tamed shrew....
Does the double happy ending work for me, in a way I am fine with it because Hero was saved from the slander and she still wanted Claudio even though he treated her bad in front of everyone. She's just a typical girl from that time. However, I am somewhat disappointed that Beatrice lost her spark. If I could have done anything differently I would have made Benedick and Beatrice married, but Beatrice still having her loud and outspoken voice. That's the only difference I would make, I would have made her stay as the dominant one in that relationship.