Explore Ways in Which Shakespeare Presents Claudio's Character Change in the First 58 Lines of Act 4 Scene 1 Essay
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Explore ways in which Shakespeare presents the change in Claudio’s character in the first 58 lines of Act 4 Scene 1.
This essay is exploring the ways in which Shakespeare presents the change in Claudio’s character in the first 58 lines of Act 4 Scene 1 as opposed to the scenes before it.
Claudio is before Act 4 a Shakespearean lover; he is kind, loving towards Hero and romantic. In act 1 scene 1 he says “can such a jewel be bought?” in response to Benedick. This shows how he regards Hero as a precious jewel.
In act 4 Scene 1, his personality changes drastically. He is cold (as is shown by his monosyllabic answers) and sees Hero as a deceiver. He even asks the same question as he did at the very beginning of the play calling Hero a “rich and precious gift” but this time his tone is very sarcastic. He is in the brotherhood of men, a soldier, he trusts Don John more than the woman he loves.
Claudio’s relationship with Hero changes very drastically in this scene. Before, he saw Hero as a great jewel to be bought, as a sweet, innocent young woman “In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on” he says. He thought of her as beautiful and faithful and the epitome of what a woman should be.
Now he sees Hero as impure and a deceiver. He thinks she is rotten and worthless now; he even calls her a “rotten orange” and says, “You seem to me like Dian” which means that she looks like the goddess Diana, sweet and chaste but she is really “Venus” the god of sexuality.
Claudio, as we see, is quite gullible as he is twice deceived by Don John. The first time is at the ball when Don John tells Claudio that Don Pedro is not wooing by proxy but instead for himself. Don John says “my brother is amorous on Hero” meaning that Don Pedro is in love with Hero. Claudio, being very easily changeable about his opinion, takes this as fact. When it is later proved to be untrue,