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Tragic Hero in Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado about Nothing is written by the most influential literature writer, William Shakespeare, and considered as one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. Even though this play is considered as a comedic play, but some readers consider this play as a tragic play too. That means although there is no one dies in the story, we can’t assume that this play is not that genre(tragic) because there are tragic elements in this play, such as pitifulness. So, in my opinion, Hero’s pitifulness could be a tragedy in disguise and Hero should be the tragic hero in this play.

In Cambridge dictionary, the words “tragedy” and “disguise” are defined as very sad event or situation” and “to give a new appearance to a person or thing”, so “tragedy in disguise” could be the sad situation that is hidden or given in another genre of play. Instead of being comedic play, some readers state that Much Ado about Nothing is a tragic play due to the fact that it contains the tragic elements which can let the audience pity or fear developed by the characters from the play. In my opinion, one of the tragic elements in this play could be the scene that Claudio humiliated Hero at their wedding ceremony. This scene can build the feeling of pity among the audiences through Hero, the innocent woman who was humiliated by Claudio, that she didn’t do anything, but she met the downfall. Moreover, the scene that her father blamed her after the ceremony, it shows the social structure in that time that women should keep her virginity until they get married. Furthermore, it represents inequality between men and women through many scenes such as the ceremony scene, instead of protecting his daughter, Leonato believed Claudio and blamed her daughter without any proof. In my opinion, it could be the fact that men have more power than women; for example, women didn’t have a chance to study or go to work, and it seems reasonable if we say that the only valuable thing in women is their virginities which represents the reputation of the family. However, if we look at the scene that Don John deceived Claudio to see the shadow of Borachio having sex with Magaret and assumed that the shadow was Hero having sex with another man, Claudio might think that Hero was nothing due to the tradition that women must keep their virginities. 

In contrast, if we think that Hero was the person who sees Claudio having sex with another woman, what would happen? In my opinion, nothing will happen because sometimes a man could have more than 1 wife. As a result, I think it shows the inequality between 2 genders and social structure. Besides, I think that the tragic hero in this play should be Hero because she is the main factor of the tragic element such as the wedding ceremony scene. She met the downfall and her family set up her fake-death in order to let the shame die with her. I think this scene is more powerful and builds up the feeling of pity and fear than the scene that Claudio found out that Hero was dead because I did not feel anything at the Claudio scene at all.

To sum up, tragedy in disguise means the sad situation hidden in another genre such as in this play. Although this play is considered as a comedic play, but it also has tragic elements which could build up the feeling of pity and fear among the audiences. Moreover, these tragic elements represent the tradition, value and social status which are related to inequality between 2 genders at that time.  

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Tragic Hero In Much Ado About Nothing. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
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