Don John and Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing

Year 10 English Assessment Task: Much Ado About Nothing
By Sienna Kydd, English 1.
William Shakespeare’s antagonist in the play Much Ado About Nothing is Don John, this character can be compared and contrasted to others characters in the play. It can be observed that Don John was created as a character foil to his half brother, the Prince of Messina; Don Pedro. Don Pedro greatly contrasts him throughout the story. The brothers are very noticeably dissimilar in their intentions- whether for good, evil or on personal gain. Don John can also be contrasted to Lady Beatrice. This discontinuity is obvious as she is always in the public eye voicing her opinions while Don John often goes unnoticed in the shadows as he plots his schemes. These points will be discussed further throughout this essay.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Don John’s intentions are exposed to the audience with use of dramatic irony. While he appears undesirable although not particularly harmful to his fellow characters, those watching or reading the play can discover his true feelings and plans. These are revealed as he speaks about Count Claudio privately to his henchmen; Conrad and Borachio. “If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.” (Act 1, scene 3). Through a use of accumulation as a technique, Shakespeare has emphasised Don John’s point; the fact that bringing pain to others brings pleasure to himself. This desire is especially pronounced in relation to Claudio as he is often seen as an enemy of Don John. It is a common assumption that because Claudio has riches, a position of nobility and best friendship with Don Pedro (Don John’s half brother), Don John would be very jealous of Claudio. Overall, his intentions are greatly dissimilar to his brother’s.
Don Pedro’s intentions oppose those of his half- brother Don John. These differing objectives are uncovered in act 2, scene 1 of the text. “I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules' labours, which is to bring Signor Benedick and...