He confesses that; 'it must not be denied / but I am a plain-dealing villain.' (Act One, Scene Three). When he hears his servant Borachio tell about Claudio's love for Hero, he resolves to create trouble when he says;
At the end of the same Act One, Scene Three, Don John has changed to become worse than a discontented, 'canker in the hedge' when he is encouraged and supported by his servants Conrad and Borachio. He acts as the comical fool who creates mischief.
It is comical that when the characters wear masks, they take on the spirit of deceit and deny the truth when their identities are correctly guessed upon. (Act Two, Scene One). On the other hand, Claudio, who has been mistaken by Don John for Benedick, lies that he is indeed Benedick and hears the deception that Don Pedro is in love with Hero. It is comical that Claudio, who deceives Don John, is himself deceived by him. This comic interplay is tragic because it sows the seed of discontent between two good friends, Claudio and Don Pedro. Claudio now believes that Don Pedro has betrayed him by wooing Hero for himself. (Act Two, Scene One).
'Like The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's other comedy of intrigue, Much Ado About Nothing, features centrally courtship by New Comedic disguise, proxy, and impersonation. "Much Ado About Nothing", observes Kenneth Muir, "may be regarded as a subtler version of The Taming of the Shrew, transposed from farce to high comedy- and, of course, Benedick needs to be tamed as well as Beatrice." ' (Miola 79).
Beatrice and Benedick disguise their affections for each other. Their pride and egos are barriers. Their friends serve as proxies who try to bridge the gap of miscommunication between them because they think that Beatrice and Benedick are well suited for each other.
Shakespeare shows how these two high spirited, shrewd people are tamed and eventually come together to marry in Act Five, Scene Four. Benedick and Beatrice have changed for the better. They have realized that their witticisms match and they are suited for each other.
Benedick's friends; Don Pedro, Leonato and Claudio, declare Beatrice's love for him by proxy. (Act Two, Scene Three). He is convinced. Similarly, Beatrice's company of Hero, Ursula and Magaret set up the scenario for Beatrice to be there when they discuss Benedick's love for Beatrice. They declare Benedick's love for her by proxy. Finally in Act Five, Scene Four, Benedick admits that he is beaten;
'In brief, since I do
purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
purpose that the world can say against it; and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said
against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my
(Act Five, Scene Four).
By far the most tragic element is the wrongful accusation and framing of Hero as a prostitute. Borachio tells his master of his plan that Magaret and he will impersonate Hero and her suitor in a farce to invoke disloyalty and jealousy to the real Hero's discredit. (Act Two, Scene Two). It may be argued that Don John does not grow worse than before