Don John: ‘Much Ado’

“If you swear my lord, you shall not be forsworn.” (A1S1) Leonato welcomes Don John with great hesitation, “An I welcome YOU as well”. He represents the suspicions the Messina society hold towards him.
“I am not of many words, but I thank you.” (A1S1) Don John recognises the distrust held towards him and so takes on a reticent (withdrawn) character; another reason why the society distrust him.
“I cannot hide what I am. I must be sad / when I have cause, and smile at no man’s jests.” (A1S3) Don John opens up to Conrad and shows a clear self awareness; the audience begin to relate to such an honest character.
“It better fits my blood to be disdained of all.” (A1S3) Don John admits that it is his “blood” (bastard background) which forces himself outside of society and, therefore, makes him “evil”.
“I am trusted with a / muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog.” (A1S3) Don John has an on-going battle with an unkind society. He feels that no-one truly trusts him.
“I am a plain-dealing villain.” (A123) Don John’s redeeming quality is his utter honesty. This, however, and his embracing of his roots, becomes his downfall…
“Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?” (A1S3) Don John is keen to thwart the coming marriage as a means of a revenge on a society in which he cannot participate.
“This may prove food to my displeasure…If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.” (A1S3) When Don John realises it is Claudio who is getting married, he becomes full of anger. Desire for mischief turns to malice.
“Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.” (A2S2) Don John becomes a passive villain, letting Borachio lead the plot to stain Hero’s honour.
“He is composed and framed of treachery.” (A5S1) Don Pedro deems his brother to be evil through and through on discovering his flight from Messina and involvement in the Hero scandal.
“all things sort so well.” (A5S4) Leonato announces that all problems have been fixed by the end. This excludes Don John from all festivities and forgiveness.
“Think not on him till tomorrow, I’ll devise thee / brave punishments for him.” (A5S4) Benedick’s final words emphasise the hyprocrisy of the Messina society; one which has made Don John into a marginalised victim and which will only interact with him by punishing him.

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