Much Ado About Nothing Leonato Character Analysis

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In Act 5 Scene 1, of Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare writes Leonato as if he acts out fake emotions to legitimize Hero’s death in an attempt to make Claudio show any sign of guilt over having disgraced Hero. In the beginning of this scene, Leonato bemoans to Antonio while they walk together: “I pray thee, cease thy counsel, / Which falls into mine ears as profitless / As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel, / Nor let no comforter delight mine ear” (5.81.3-7). The statement, “cease thy counsel”, denotes a form of reverse psychology that enforces Antonio to think that Leonato hurts emotionally and needs comfort. Leonato primes Antonio for the conversation that he and Leonato will have with Claudio, but Leonato goes overboard with his pitiful sentiment…show more content…
/ Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword. / I fear thee not” (5.83.53-5). Leonato connects Claudio’s wronging him and a warrior’s slay another in battle. He makes this parallel to invoke Claudio into showing any form of guilt over having killed Hero. Leonato also implies that Claudio shouldn’t fight him because he has already wronged him and, to murder him would be overkill. Antonio, having been primed in the conversation before with Leonato, only adds validity to the claim that Leonato tries to make, Claudio murdered Hero unjustly. In Leonato's closing remarks to Claudio, Leonato states, “say thou hast belied mine innocent child. / Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, / And she lies buried with her ancestors, / Oh, in a tomb where never scandal slept Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy” (5.83.67-71). Once again Leonato tries to make Claudio show any sign of guilt over having killed Hero. He even tries to play with Claudio’s idea of honor by saying that he has not only ruined Hero’s dignity, but that of her entire
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