Much Ado About Pathos
Much Ado about Pathos
One of the all-time famous plays of William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing is one of the classic pieces in the history of English literature. In this play, there are many characters and all these characters are somehow the victim of deception. But as it is a play, there are many major and minor characters, but the central deception is mainly centered upon Claudio to destroy his relationship with his lady love “Hero”. This act of deception involved Don John and Borachio who were against Claudio for their personal reasons. This act of deception brings in dramatic effect to this play. It has been seen that throughout the play many characters try to manipulate the situation by employing emotions in the play. But two main characters tried to change the whole scenario of the play through deployment of pathetic appeals. These two characters are Borachio and Done John who were morally corrupt and tried to ruin feelings and relationship of the couple who were just on the way to get married. Don John is the legitimate brother of Prince of Aragon, Don Pedro who was the companion of Claudio. Tool of Pathos is going to the used for misrepresenting things that would blur all the reality as the play advances.
Don John when came to know about the love story of Claudio, he became so jealous that he start netting a plan that how he could break their relation that was about to take a turn to change into marriage soon after few days. Don John seeks help of one of his worker who has heard the conversion of Don Pedro and Claudio that Don Pedro was about to ask for Hero’s hand for his friend Claudio as he was not good at such tasks. So Don Pedro has to seek the permission of Leonato for the wedding of Claudio and Hero. But both Borachio and Don John start doing conspiracies against all others who were happy for the future union of Claudio and Hero. Both of these antagonists try to use all the tools and techniques for creating a mess. They use the pathetic appeals for parting the two souls about whom God has some other plan.
Firstly Don John tried to deceive and betrayed Claudio by targeting him through pathos when he tries to manipulate the things by creating doubt and clash between Claudio and his friend Don Pedro. As from the play it could be seen that Claudio does not have the status equivalent to that of the Governor Leonato, so Don Pedro was suspicious whether Leonato is going to accept the proposal of Claudio or not for his daughter Hero. Moreover, he was not sure whether Hero likes Claudio or not, so only for the sake of knowing the views of Hero about his friend Claudio, Don Pedro wanted to meet Hero in a masquerade ball. But by using the tool of pathos, Claudio was deceived and things were manipulated in such a way that, Claudio was having the thought that maybe his friend Don Pedro was cheating him and wanted to marry Hero. But this plan of Don John failed badly and at the end of this act all the things were settled between the two friends.
Secondly, it could be seen that Borachio by using his wit try to destroy and hurt feelings of Claudio for his beloved Hero. He tries to end their love affair that just started blossoming between the two youngsters. Borachio by the instructions of Don John asks a woman named Margret to come up for a visit when it would be a little dark so that Claudio could not know whether it’s Hero or some other lady and would start hating Hero. Both the antagonists play quite smart role as despite coming on the front foot, they choose to target the emotions of all the rest of characters of this play (Fergusson, et,al). But mainly Claudio and Hero were the targets of wrath and jealousy.
Borachio used the pathetic appeals for distracting Claudio and for targeting his emotions he plot a plan, where Margret visits Borachio and creates such a scenario where Claudio watches them and thinks that it was Hero. But despite knowing the reality but by relying on the planned visual, just one day before their wedding, Claudio refuses to marry Hero. He curses her considering her disloyal lady who betrayed him. He was greatly moved and after being trapped in Don John's trap considers Hero as one who deceived her. In this part of the play, Shakespeare is trying to reveal this reality the lack of worthiness becomes the part of women mostly as an allegation against their character without having any proof is being accepted. Rather than taking the reality and facts in consideration women are being blamed for betraying the one with whom they were supposed to stay loyal. The use of rhetoric pathetic appeal used by the antagonists could be seen as something by using which the audience is being persuaded.
While the other hand, Don John is aiming the same thing as he is the main planner of all the things that have been executed by Borachio. The element of jealousy, rage, hypocrisy, and anger take over Don John who by adopting the pathetic appeals. There were just a few minor differences between the two antagonists who were having the same tool for distracting the audience and other characters. One of the main differences was that Borachio did all the things practically and was having stronger impacts on the emotions of the audience. They both tried to deceive Claudio by attacking his pathos and broken his trust that he was having on her lady love Hero. Pathetic appeals have been used effectively for satisfying his interest as he would be rewarded by Don John for separating Hero and Claudio. By using the pathetic appeals, he betrayed all those who surround him.
In this play, one thing becomes very obvious that act of concealing or misrepresentation of the facts or reality could have hazardous effects on the characters and the ones who are morally corrupted people are going to use the tool of manipulation for breaking people emotionally. Few of the major themes of this play are also going to reveal by all these deceive acts of villains. It could be seen that marriage is one of the central themes of this play, as at the beginning of this play it becomes quite obvious that Claudio wanted to marry Hero just by having her first sight. By having an eye of the plot of this play it becomes clear that there is a proper scheming about the marriage of the Benedick with Beatrice and there is also the scheming of un-marrying Claudio and Hero who are going to get at the end of this play. Manipulation of the things has been presented as one of the main themes of this play as it greatly influences the relationships. Another thing that one could realize after having deep analyses of this play is that are many things have been given as a hint for the readers that many things could be seen as the indication of the apperception of deception of that period. Mask ball is hint for the readers as people in this play used to enjoy such activities and the games in which one was supposed to deceive others by masking the face that was not his real face.
So from this play, it could be concluded that not only the two characters that have been mainly discussed above are the only one who is deceiving people by hunting their emotions and by using the trick of pathos (Cohen,et,al,2010). Pathos has been discussed by one of the most famous philosophers of all time, Aristotle who believed that three sources could be used for convincing a person, whether one can use ethos, that is the use of the ethics for convincing someone about things. In ethos one is going to convince by giving him the reference from the ethical teachings. Pathos comes at the second number on the list of Aristotle for persuading a person. Pathos means using the emotions tool for moving someone in favor of a thing or persuading one against things. In the end, Aristotle has used the logos which are going to be discussed as a tool for convincing someone. Logos includes the logic and the reasons. Logos are going to have the full participation of the facts and figures that would enable one for believing a thing. Ethos is going to have the full intervention of traditions and belief, and it would check whether a thing is right or wrong morally, and in the case of pathos, feelings are going to have the overall charge of the thinking capacities of an individual. Emotions have been presented as one the important that is going to have a strong impact on the life of a person as it could be seen in the case of Claudio, who when being targeted by pathetic appeals get ready to leave his lady love Hero, but after having all the reality in front of his eyes he gets ready to get marry with Hero. In this play Shakespeare has tried to do a full justice with the ideology pathos that has been given by Aristotle. He believed that speaker use pathos to convince the audience.
Cohen, Jason E. "Much ado about nothing." Shakespeare Bulletin 28.1 (2010): 168-172.
Fergusson, Francis. "The Comedy of Errors and Much Ado about Nothing." The Sewanee Review 62.1 (1954): 24-37.
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