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Deception

Beatrice’s Sonnet

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Beatrice closes Act 3 scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing, speaking a sonnet.* Shakespeare occasionally used sonnets in his plays, for example, in Romeo and Juliet and Richard III, which were examined in previous essays. He didn’t insert these sonnets arbitrarily. He intended to achieve particular effects,
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The Snare of Vanity

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In Act 2, Scene 1 of Julius Caesar, Decius Brutus uses “betrayed” to mean fooled, tricked or misled. A person can escape a unicorn by hiding behind a tree; a bear can be misled by seeing itself in a mirror; an elephant can be tricked into falling into a hole; a lion caught in a trap; and men seduced by flatterers.
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Pandering, Contempt and the Masses

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Many of Shakespeare’s plays deal with political intrigue at court between political leaders. However, in Julius Caesar and Coriolanus, more than in other plays, the themes address the relationships between political leaders and the masses. Since both plays are set in historic Rome and not in Shakespeare’s England, they can deal with the themes of democracy and the wisdom of the populace to govern themselves through a republican form of representation.
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Richard III and the Sonnet

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“Now is the winter of our discontent” is nearly as familiar as Hamlet’s, “To be, or not to be” and Mark Antony’s, “Friends, Romans, countrymen”. Not one of these three passages is a dramatic dialogue. Mark Antony addresses a large Roman crowd in an extended speech. Hamlet muses to himself in a soliloquy while we the audience listen in.
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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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Do you intend to stay with me tonight?

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Lord
Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
First Player
So please your Lordship to accept our duty.
Lord
With all my heart. This fellow I remember
Since once he played a farmer’s eldest son.—
‘Twas where you wooed the gentlewoman so well.
I have forgot your name, but sure that part
Was aptly fitted and naturally performed.
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Source:
Act Induction
Scene 1
Line 86

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O Dissembling courtesy!

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Imogen
O,
Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds! My dearest husband,
I something fear my father’s wrath, but nothing—
Always reserved my holy duty—what
His rage can do on me. You must be gone,
And I shall here abide the hourly shot
Of angry eyes, not comforted to live
But that there is this jewel in the world
That I may see again.  
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 97

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Well, Brutus, thou art noble

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Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet I see
Thy honorable mettle may be wrought
From that it is dispos’d; therefore it is meet
That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
For who so firm that cannot be seduc’d?Rhetorical Question and Ellipsis
Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.
If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 320

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Never fear that

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Never fear that. If he be so resolv’d,
I can o’ersway him; for he loves to hear
That unicorns may be betray’d with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers;Ellipses

But when I tell him he hates flatterers
He says he does, being then most flattered.

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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 219

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Connected Notes:
The Snare of Vanity

I heard myself proclaimed

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I heard myself proclaimed,
And by the happy hollow of a tree
Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place
That guard and most unusual vigilance
Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may ‘scape,
I will preserve myself, and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape
That ever penury in contempt of man
Brought near to beast.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3
Line 1

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Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again

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Prince
Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again.
Balthasar
O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.
Prince
It is the witness still of excellency
To put a strange face on his own perfection.
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3
Line 43

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Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come

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Hero
Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick.
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit.

What fire is in mine ears?

My talk to thee must be how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice. Of this matter
Is little Cupid’s crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay.Allusion
Now begin,
For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.Simile

 Enter Beatrice, who hides in the bower.
Ursula, aside to Hero
The pleasant’st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her Metaphorgolden oars the silver stream
And greedily devour the treacherous bait.
So angle we for Beatrice, who even now
Is couchèd in the woodbine coverture.Simile

Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
Hero, aside to Ursula
Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.—Metaphor
 They walk near the bower.
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful.
I know her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.Simile

Ursula
But are you sure
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
Hero
So says the Prince and my new-trothèd lord.
Ursula
And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
Hero
They did entreat me to acquaint her of it,
But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affectionMetaphor
And never to let Beatrice know of it.
Ursula
Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?Metonymy

Hero
O god of love! I know he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man,Apostrophe

But Nature never framed a woman’s heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprizing what they look on, and her wit
Values itself so highly that to her
All matter else seems weak.Personification & Synecdoches
She cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared.
Ursula
Sure, I think so,
And therefore certainly it were not good
She knew his love, lest she’ll make sport at it.
Hero
Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw man,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured,Diacope
But she would spell him backward. If fair-faced,
She would swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate very vilely cut;
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If silent, why, a block moved with none.Anaphora & Metaphors

So turns she every man the wrong side out,Metaphor
And never gives to truth and virtue that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
Ursula
Sure, sure,Epizeuxis such carping is not commendable.
Hero
No, not to be so odd and from all fashions
As Beatrice is cannot be commendable.
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
She would mock me into air. O, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.Adynaton

Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as die with tickling.Similes

Ursula
Yet tell her of it. Hear what she will say.
Hero
No, rather I will go to Benedick
And counsel him to fight against his passion;
And truly I’ll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with. One doth not know
How much an ill word may empoison liking.
Ursula
O, do not do your cousin such a wrong!
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
Having so swift and excellent a wit
As she is prized to have, as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
Hero
He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.
Ursula
I pray you be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valor,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.
Hero
Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.Metonymy
Ursula
His excellence did earn it ere he had it.
When are you married, madam?
Hero
Why, every day, tomorrow.Anapodoton & Antithesis, Oxymoron or Paradox Come, go in.
I’ll show thee some attires and have thy counsel
Which is the best to furnish me tomorrow.
 They move away from the bower.
Ursula, aside to Hero
She’s limed, I warrant you. We have caught her, madam.Metaphor
Hero, aside to Ursula
If it prove so, then loving goes by haps;
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.Allusion
 Hero and Ursula exit.
Beatrice, coming forward
What fire is in mine ears?Metaphor Can this be true?
Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!Apostrophe
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,Apostrophe
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.Synecdoche
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band.
For others say thou dost deserve, and I
Believe it better than reportingly.
 She exits

Who calls there?

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Malvolio
Who calls there?
Fool
Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio
the lunatic.
Malvolio
Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to
my lady—

I say there is no darkness but ignorance,
in which thou art more puzzled than
the Egyptians in their fog.
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 2
Line 22

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I have deceived even your very eyes

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I have deceived even your very eyes. What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light.Irony
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Source:
Act 5
Scene 1
Line 242

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Appearance and Deception

Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee!

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Olivia, to Malvolio
Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee!
Fool
Why, “some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrown upon them.”
I was one, sir, in this interlude, one Sir Topas, sir,
but that’s all one. “By the Lord, Fool, I am not
mad”—but, do you remember “Madam, why laugh
you at such a barren rascal;
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Source:
Act 5
Scene 1
Line 392

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