Finding Hercules in Much Ado About Nothing


Length: 728 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers of all time, uses Hercules as a persona of excellence throughout his play, "Much Ado About Nothing".  Hercules, in Greek mythology, is a hero known for his strength, courage and legendary adventures.  This gives the impression that Shakespeare liked the tales of Hercules.

 
 In order for us to understand what he meant by using Hercules' name and amount of background would need to be known.

The first time Shakespeare uses Hercules name is with his character Benedick.  This takes place in Act two, Scene One:

Benedick:   "...I would not marry her though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgress'd.  She would have made Hercules have turn'd spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too."

 Shakespeare uses this to connect with the one of the tales of Hercules.  When a centaur (part man and horse) by the name of Nessus captured Deianeira, Hercules shot the centaur with a poisoned arrow.  With the centaur's dying breath he gave Deianeira a vial of his poisoned blood telling her she could use it to rekindle Hercules' love for her if it ever faded.  Hercules fell in love and married Deianeira (Hercules second wife).  One day when she felt that his love was fading, she made him a robe that was dipped in the blood of the centaur.  When Hercules received the gift from his wife he was overjoyed and put it on, almost immediately his skin started to burn and he caught on fire.  The club that is mentioned is Hercules' weapon.  Benedick says Beatrice would harm him, even if he used a weapon, he wouldn't be able to stop her, even though she may not mean any harm.

Shortly after Benedick spoke of Hercules, Don Pedro mentions his name but for good use instead of the unhappy end of Hercules.

Don Pedro:   "...I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules' labours, which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection th' one with th' other.  I would fain have it a match, and I doubt not but to fashion it if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall give you direction.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Finding Hercules in Much Ado About Nothing." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=15061>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Branagh's Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing Essays - Branagh's Interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing   Shakespeare's wonderful comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, is an entertaining tale of the trials and tribulations of two pairs of lovers, who must face and overcome both malicious schemes plotted against them and also their own flaws and shortcomings before finding happiness together. Although clearly a comedy, the play is not without its darker moments. Don John plots to ruin Claudio's marriage; he nearly succeeds because Claudio, and most of the other men in the play, are too quick to judge Hero (and women in general) as innately deceitful....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays] 2319 words
(6.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Much Ado About Nothing Essay: Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing - Social Illusions in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare presents us with a romp through the realms of truth and illusion. The play is full of characters plotting and deceiving, for both noble and repugnant reasons. It is a study in the importance and necessity of illusion in our everyday lives, and shows how deeply ingrained deception is in our social behaviors. Everybody is involved in some kind of illusion, from the masked celebration to the unveiling of Hero's "cousin." Two of the major conspiracies in the play are the Claudio/Hero plotline and the Benedick/Beatrice story....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays] 587 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Love in Much Ado About Nothing Essay - Exploring Love in Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare depicts different kinds of loving relationships - romantic love, family support and loyal friendship - and shows how various characters react to love and marriage. By exploring the effects of this powerful emotion Shakespeare highlights its universal relevance, a relevance that transcends time. The main plot of Much Ado About Nothing is that of the relationship between Claudio and Hero. Their story is a melodramatic saga concerning the realities of relationships based on love at first sight....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
2807 words
(8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Much Ado About Nothing Essay: The Character of Don John - The Character of Don John in Much Ado About Nothing      William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy in which he uses one of his more peculiar villains. The antagonist in this play is Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro. In this paper I will discuss the role of Don John as well as his motives and the character himself. I will also delve into Shakespeare's use of Don John as the antagonist. I will be comparing Don John to other characters in the play as well as to other villains in Shakespeare's works....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1098 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay About Love in Much Ado About Nothing - Much Ado About Nothing  Love Story             Shakespeare My first impression of Much Ado About Nothing is that it would be a love story.  Although it is categorised as a Shakespearean comedy, I found the many "funny" parts of the play were foggy and required you to read the scene over a few times before you understood them.  But then again, I had to read the whole scene over again a few times to understand anything.             All of the characters in Much Ado About Nothing seemed to develop a personality of their own from the very first scene.  It also helped that I saw the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing before we read the play so I could almost get a picture in my head as t...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays] 378 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Much Ado About Nothing: A Comedy with Deep Meaning - Much Ado About Nothing:  A Comedy with Deep Meaning      Much Ado About Nothing--the title sounds, to a modern ear, offhand and self-effacing; we might expect the play that follows such a beginning to be a marvelous piece of fluff and not much more. However, the play and the title itself are weightier than they initially seem. Shakespeare used two other such titles--Twelfth Night, or What You Will and As You Like It--both of which send unexpected reverberations of meaning throughout their respective plays, the former with its reference to the Epiphany and the topsy-turvy world of a saturnalian celebration, and the latter with its implications about how the characters (and the audience it...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1272 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Renaissance Italy Essay - Shakespeare's play "Much Ado About Nothing" takes place in Messina, a city-state of Renaissance Italy. The Renaissance was a period in European history believed to have been between AD 1300 and AD 1600 with a feudal society of agricultural economy and church dominated culture. It was during the Renaissance that Europe was transformed into a society dominated by central political institutions with education, arts and music heavily influenced by the Christian religion. In Italy, cities such as Florence, Ferrara, Milan, and Venice flourished....   [tags: Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing] 772 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Much Ado About Nothing Essay: An Exploration of Conformity - Much Ado About Nothing as an Exploration of Conformity     In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedict rant about marriage for most of the beginning of the play, while Claudio raves about how wonderful it will be being married to Hero.  Yet in the end, Claudio exchanges his marriage to Hero for an opportunity to bash her in public, while Beatrice and Benedick marry despite that they were mortal enemies for most of the first three acts.  How did the situation swing around to this degree?  Beatrice and Benedick had been using the most extreme metaphors to demonstrate their scorn of each other and of marriage, and Claudio had been doing the same to demonstrate his love of...   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
939 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice, Portia and Marriage Essays - Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice, Portia and Marriage Hero and Claudio represent the Elizabethan norm in marriage. Claudio is the shrewd, hardheaded fortune hunter and Hero is the modest maiden of conduct books and marriage manuals, a docile young woman. It is important to note that Claudio is more concerned with advancement in Don Pedro's army than he is with love. Therefore, Shakespeare illustrates to the reader through the near tragedy of mistaken identity that Claudio must learn that marriage is more than a business arrangement and become worthy of Hero's love and affection....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays] 525 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Much Ado About Nothing is a Comedy with Serious Incidents Essay - "This play we must call a comedy, tho' some of the incidents and discourses are more in a tragic strain; and that of the accusation of Hero is too shocking for either tragedy or comedy" (Charles Gildon 1714) How far do you accept this comment about the play's events and language. "Much Ado About Nothing" is a play categorised as a comedy, and written by the dramatist William Shakespeare. A comic play is usually accepted to be a light-hearted play with a happy conclusion. A play classed as a tragedy is serious and sad, usually ending with the death of the main character....   [tags: Much Ado About Nothing Essays] 1418 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




"  

 Shakespeare has his character Don Pedro use Hercules name from another story. Hercules was punished for the murder of his family.  His sentence was to perform twelve Labors, feats so difficult that they seemed impossible.  Fortunately, Hercules had the help of Hermes and Athena.  So from this Don Pedro will overcome this difficult task of bringing Beatrice and Benedick together as a couple but it will take the help of his friends to do so.

Another time Hercules name is used is by Borachio, one of the villains in this play.  Shakespeare has Borachio use Hercules name for a different purpose.  Borachio uses his name for his nakedness that is displayed on artifacts in Act Three, Scene Three:  

Borachio:  "...sometime like the shaven Hercules in the smirch'd worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?"

Borachio's character makes it clear that he is similar to Hercules, which he has big balls to do something gutsy.  He can use his sexual parts as a weapon.

The character that would not likely use Hercules name is Beatrice, yet Shakespeare even has her using his name.  She would use it cynically of course in Act four, Scene One:

Beatrice:   "But manhood is melted into cursies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn'd into tongue, and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie, and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing; therefore I will die a woman with grieving."

 So with this said, Beatrice is stating that she cannot do anything about Claudio lying about her cousin because everyone looks at him as a war hero and she is yet but a women.

Out of all the many stories told about mythology, Shakespeare liked the tales of Hercules the best.  Shakespeare used his name to fit not just one character but several.  He incorporated the tales of Hercules to exemplify his point and feelings of the characters.  In order for someone to understand what Shakespeare meant by using well known names in his plays, they would have to know the stories behind them.

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com