S1 Honors English Much Ado About Nothing/Characteristics of Comedy

Leonato The father of Hero and the uncle of Beatrice. Leonato is the governor of Messina and a respected, well-to-do, elderly nobleman. The action of the play takes place in his home. Leonato is second in status only to Don Pedro.
Don Pedro good and generous friend of Claudio and Benedick
Claudio A young soldier who has won great acclaim fighting under Don Pedro during the recent wars. Claudio falls in love with Hero upon his return to Messina. His unfortunately suspicious nature makes him quick to believe evil rumors and hasty to despair and take revenge.
Benedick An aristocratic soldier who has recently been fighting under Don Pedro, and a friend of Don Pedro and Claudio. Benedick is very witty, always making jokes and puns. He carries on a “merry war” of wits with Beatrice, but at the beginning of the play he swears he will never fall in love or marry.
Hero the daughter of Leonato; young, sweet girl in love with Claudio; is framed by Don John and Claudio thinks she was unfaithful
Beatrice Leonato’s niece and Hero’s cousin. Beatrice is “a pleasant-spirited lady” with a very sharp tongue. She is generous and loving, but, like Benedick, continually mocks other people with elaborately tooled jokes and puns. She wages a war of wits against Benedick and often wins the battles. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry.
Don John The illegitimate brother of Don Pedro; sometimes called “the Bastard.” Don John is melancholy and sullen by nature, and he creates a dark scheme to ruin the happiness of Hero and Claudio. He is the villain of the play; his evil actions are motivated by his envy of his brother’s social authority.
Margaret Hero’s serving woman, who unwittingly helps Borachio and Don John deceive Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful. Unlike Ursula, Hero’s other lady-in-waiting, Margaret is lower class. Though she is honest, she does have some dealings with the villainous world of Don John: her lover is the mistrustful and easily bribed Borachio. Also unlike Ursula, Margaret loves to break decorum, especially with bawdy jokes and teases.
Borachio An associate of Don John. Borachio is the lover of Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. He conspires with Don John to trick Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio. His name means “drunkard” in Italian, which might serve as a subtle direction to the actor playing him.
How is Hero framed by Don John? Don John gets Margaret, one of Hero’s maidservants, and Borachio, his friend, to have intercourse and goes and tells Claudio about it. Claudio thinks that Margaret is Hero and calls off their wedding on the altar
How did everyone find out that Hero was innocent? the night watchmen overhear Borachio bragging about his crime. Dogberry and Verges, the heads of the local police, ultimately arrest both Borachio and Conrad, another of Don John’s followers. Everyone learns that Hero is really innocent, and Claudio, who believes she is dead, grieves for her.
How do Hero and Claudio end up together? Hero fakes her own death, leaving Claudio griefstricken after finding out her innocence. Her father, Leonato, tells Claudio that he has to marry Hero’s cousin and preach to the world that Hero was actually faithful to him. At the wedding, Hero reveals herself from under the veil, and Claudio is overjoyed.
How do Benedick and Beatrice finally fall in love? In order to pass the time between Hero and Claudio’s wedding, they (along with some others) decide to play a game where they try to get them to fall in love. It eventually works and they profess their love during the aftermath of Don John’s scheme. Benedick asks Beatrice to marry him when Hero and Claudio finally get back together.
What are the 6 characteristics of comedy? happy endingscomedic elementsblocking figuredisguises/mistaken identityironywilling suspension of disbelief
What are the 2 main comedic elements? verbal: witty remarks, sarcasm, puns, malapropsphysical: slapstick
What is the blocking figure? someone/thing that blocks the young lovers
What are the 3 types of irony? dramatic: the audience knows something that the characters don’tsituational: out of place situationsverbal: unexpected but appropriate statements

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