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Friar Francis

Appearance and Deception

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A recurring theme in many of Shakespeare’s plays, and central to Much Ado About Nothing, explores how easily people are deceived not just by the false testimony of others but even by their own senses. Claudio, believing he was deceived by Don John, learned to place no trust in the words of others. With “Let every eye negotiate for itself,”
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Friars, Friends and Deceivers

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Friar Francis in Much Ado About Nothing (4.1.221), like Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, is a sympathetic character who aids the romantic interests of the young lovers. Both friars fashion a conspiracy whose central conceit is the fake death of the lady. Friars fare better than the Catholic hierarchy in Shakespeare’s plays, even though the friars are as devious in their means as cardinals and archbishops.
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Hear me a little,

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Hear me a little,
For I have only silent been so long,Hyperbaton
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady. I have marked
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness beat away those blushes,
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 164

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Appearance and Deception

Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf

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Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse. That is some good.

But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater birth:
She dying, as it must be so maintain’d,
Upon the instant that she was accus’d,
Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus’d
Of every hearer;
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 221

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Friars, Friends and Deceivers