Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing

Leonato

Leonato is the Duke of Messina, Hero's father and Beatrice's uncle. At the start of the play he welcomes the soldiers to his home.

He is presented as a protective and caring father and a gracious host. He holds a masked ball for his guests. Later he is involved in tricking Benedick in the orchard, perhaps as part of his patriarchal feelings towards his niece, Beatrice.

At the wedding when Hero is accused by Claudio, Leonato's focus is on his own sense of dishonour and he wishes for his own death, as well as his daughter's. However, he is also forgiving as shown by the way he allows Claudio to marry his daughter at the end of the play.

How is Leonato like this?EvidenceAnalysis
GenerousHe invites Don Pedro and the other soldiers to stay with him for a month or more."I tell him we shall stay here at / the least a month; and he heartily prays some / occasion may detain us longer." (Act 1 Scene 1) Don Pedro says that Leonato 'prays' for a reason for the soldiers to stay longer than a month. This shows his generosity to his guests.
PatriarchalHe wants his daughter and his niece to find husbands."By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue." (Act 2 Scene 1) He worries that Beatrice is too 'shrewd' to be desirable. His concern reveals his patriarchal attitude.
HonourableWhen Hero is accused at the altar, Leonato wishes to die."Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?" (Act 4 Scene 1) His sense of dishonour is so great that he would prefer suicide than to live with the disgrace of his daughter's apparent misbehaviour.
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