Much Ado About Nothing Essay: Act 5 Scene 1 Climax Of The Dénouements

631 words - 3 pages

Much Ado About Nothing:  Act 5 Scene 1 - Climax of the Denouements      

 

A particular section of Act 5, Scene 1, could be seen as the denouement of the play, Much Ado About Nothing.  Perhaps it is more accurate to say the climax of the denouements - at its conclusion, all that remains for the play is a happy ending. It is here that the perpetrator is displayed before all the interested male parties, and here that Leonato can be assured that his belief in Hero's innocence was justified - and perhaps more importantly, that it can be seen to be justified: armed with Borachio's confession, and Claudio and Don Pedro's half-acceptance of guilt, he tells them to 'Possess the people in Messina here How innocent she died' (l. 282-283). This continues the play's concern with appearances and reality, the nature of truth and evidence: it seems that the revelation of the deception instigated by Don John, despite being accepted by all the relevant parties, doesn't count unless it is displayed publicly - even performed, for Claudio is told to devise an epitaph and sing it, which he does in Act 5 Scene 3, accompanied not only by Don Pedro, but with musicians and 'three or four with tapers' (stage direction).

The theme of 'noting' is continued - Leonato says of 'the villain', whom he soon pronounces to be not only Borachio, but the 'princes' as well: 'Let me see his eyes, That, when I note another man like him, I may avoid him.' (l. 260-262) This idea is ironic when we remember the wildly different interpretations of Hero's blushes, and particularly Leonato's failure to see the truth. But it appears to be symptomatic of the society that the public interpretation of appearance is everything: when Hero's name is disgraced, she is guilty, even if only in the...

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