Love is a main idea in this play and is shown through the partnerships between Claudio and Hero, Benedick and Beatrice and also through the paternal love that Leonato shows for his daughter and niece.
Claudio's love for Hero is often regarded as superficial. He seems to fall in love with her because she fits the model of an ideal woman: modest, beautiful and obedient. Beatrice and Benedick, on the other hand, are each in denial of their love and need to be tricked by their friends into realising their true feelings. Ultimately their love seems more real and true.
In the end, both pairs are married and love is triumphant.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare shows the theme of love through:
|How does Shakespeare show this?||Evidence||Analysis|
|Claudio falls in love with Hero||Claudio declares his love for Hero to Benedick.||"In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on." (Act 1 Scene 1)||He is in love at first sight, showing that he is romantic and, it might be argued, superficial.|
|Benedick realises his love for Beatrice||After eavesdropping on his friends in the orchard, Benedick decides he loves Beatrice.||"I do spy some marks of love in her." (Act 2 Scene 3)||Although we see Benedick's softening towards Beatrice, his change of heart can be seen as arrogant. He hadn't noted any love in Beatrice until now.|
|Leonato loves his daughter and niece||Leonato wants his daughter and his niece to find suitable husbands.||"Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband." (Act 2 Scene 1)||Although we find this attitude patronising in today's society, Leonato shows his love by wishing that his charges will be well-married.|
How is love presented in Much Ado About Nothing?