Hero: ‘Much Ado’

Hero’s first line in the play is a clarification on Beatrice’s behalf. This implies that her own storyline with Claudio will be less important than the subplot of Beatrice and Benedick. “My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.” 1.1.35
2.1.5 She is a gentle character who seeks the best in people; this is certainly kinder that what everyone else is saying about him! She notes that Don John “is of a very melancholy disposition.”
Beatrice highlights how dutiful Hero can be; we learn a lot about Hero through what others say about her. “…it is my cousin’s duty to make curtsy and say, “Father, as it please you.”” 2.1.44
Hero shows a little “sass” in saying she does what SHE wants and not just what her father says. To the disguised Don Pedro when he asks Hero to dance and woo her on Claudio’s behalf, “I may say so, when I please.” 2.1.85
Hero’s dialogue with disguised Don Pedro is witty; she jokes that she hopes his face is better than his mask. “When I like your favour; for God defend the lute should be like the case.” 2.1.94
Hero says she will do any decent thing to help Beatrice find a husband. She is thoughtful, helpful and likes to keep everything “proper”. She acts also as a foil to Beatrice. “I will do any modest office, my Lord, to help my cousin to a husband.” 2.1.375
Hero sets up the eavesdropping scene for Beatrice. Although not as witty as Beatrice, she has a beautiful way with words. “bid her steal into the preached bower, where honeysuckles, ripen’d by the sun, forbid the sun to enter…” 3.1.1-3.1.13
Hero wisely acknowledges that love is about self-sacrifice; each person needs to lose something to gain love. Perhaps this explains her forgiveness of Claudio at the end? “I know he doth deserve as much as may be yielded to a man, but Nature never framed a woman’s heart of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.” 3.1.49
Hero is not deluded in love; she’s aware, like Beatrice, that men have their failings, and that women still fall in love with men in spite of their failings, (luckily for Claudio!) Hero to Ursula , “…praise him more than ever man did merit.” 3.1.15
It is ironic that Hero acknowledges that rumours can wound love; something which is about to happen to her. “little Cupid’s crafty arrow…that only wounds by hearsay.” 3.1.18
Hero admits if she asked Beatrice to calm down, she would mock her to death; she is no match for Beatrice’s sharp wit. “If I should speak, she would mock me into the air…It were a better death than die with mocks.” 3.1.72
Foreshadowing Hero’s upcoming situation! “I’ll devise some honest slanders to stain my cousin with: one doth not know how much an ill word may empoison liking.” 3.1.82
Hero seems to be excited about her marriage, seeking Ursula’s advice on what to wear. “Why, every day, tomorrow…I’ll show you some attires, and have thy counsel which is the best to furnish me tomorrow.” 3.1.101
Hero has a sense of humour, making a joke at Beatrice’s expense. “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” 3.1.104
Hero shows determination to wear what she wants to the wedding even if Ursula and Beatrice disagree. “My cousin’s a fool, and thou art another: I’ll wear none but this.” 3.4.10
Foreshadowing as Hero makes a strange comment about her heart being heavy on the morning of her wedding. “My heart is exceeding heavy.” 3.4.22
Whilst Hero should be concerned with her own wedding, she is worried about Beatrice. More foreshadowing? “Why how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?” 3.4.41
She simply asks if she has ever not seemed honest and chaste to Claudio. “And seem’d I ever otherwise to you?” 4.1.50 Unlike, Claudio, Hero does not simply “flip out” when accused.
Hero reacts to Claudio’s false accusations by asking after his health. This kindness probably unwittingly antagonises Claudio further. “Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?” 4.1.62
Hero asks who can possibly say anything truthful and bad about her. She is determined to answer only to the name “Hero” and not “harlot”. “Is it not Hero? Who can blog that name with any just reproach?” 4.1.80
Unlike Beatrice, Hero speaks very little. Whilst Claudio accuses her using elaborate expressions, she replies with straightforward truth. “I talked with no man at that hour, my lord.” 4.1.83
Hero stands up for herself, insisting that the accusation is utterly false and that she knows no man more than chastity allows. “They know that do accuse me; I know none: if I know more of any man alive than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, let all my sins lack mercy!” 4.1.177
Hero is forgiving and her speech is straightforward and lacking in blame. “And when I lived, I was your other wife: and when you loved, you were my other husband.” 5.4.60
Hero’s one moment of power; her main objective was to prove her innocence/reputation and not just to get Claudio back. “One Hero died defiled, but I do live, And surely as I live, I am a maid.” 5.4.62
Like her first line, Hero’s last line in the play is about Beatrice, therefore, deferring her importance in the play. “And here’s another writ in my cousin’s hand…containing her affection unto Benedick.” 5.4.88

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