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True love is a bond shared by few and dreamed of by everyone. The appearance of a relationship may not accurately depict the true reality of the situation. The bond between Claudio and Hero appears far stronger than that of Beatrice and Benedict, yet events of the play provide evidence for the converse. In Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, the masked emotions of two couples are evoked through subterfuge.
Upon first sight, Beatrice and Benedict seem as if they abhor one another as they exchange several deriding remarks. The skirmish of wits is merely a facade of their underlying attraction to each other, and an ongoing struggle of recognizing their love; the insults function as a psychological device which erects a strong barrier around their emotions and further supports their feelings of denial. A few of the townspeople have noticed several signs of love between Beatrice and Benedict so they decide to trick them into divulging their feelings. Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato plan to make Bene*censored* believe that Beatrice loves him. Hiding, Bene*censored* overhears a stirring description of her love for him. Then, as further jest, the prince sends Beatrice to call Bene*censored* to dinner. She does, and he falls in love with her \'brave\' attempt to restrain herself. Ursula, a gentlewoman to Hero, and Hero herself bait a trap of their own for Beatrice. It is made for her to overhear the fact that Bene*censored* loves her. They speak of how arrogant she is, and how she can always find fault with a man; consequently, Bene*censored* is intimidated out of professing his love. She is also baited, and falls in love with Bene*censored*. A very strong relationship is formed as the couple admits their love for one another; after brief hesitation, Benedict even agrees to kill Claudio, someone he trusted enough to confide in, as a sign of his love for Beatrice.
Claudio only saw Hero for a brief moment upon returning from the war, and immediately desires her. Don Pedro agrees to woo the beautiful woman in Claudio’s name at the upcoming celebration. He succeeds and summons Claudio who proposes to Hero immediately. As soon as Don John hears of the engagement between Hero and Claudio the audience learns of his desire for Hero. In deep resent of his brother and Claudio, Don John accepts Borrachio\'s plan of deceiving Claudio into thinking that Hero is promiscuous for the dual purpose of shaming one of his prestigious brother\'s followers and preventing Claudio and Hero\'s marriage. Borrachio\'s plan included having an amorous encounter with Margaret, Hero\'s maid, and in the middle of everything announcing Hero\'s name for everyone who might be in earshot to hear. Acting as a concerned friend, Don John directed Claudio and Don Pedro to witness the encounter between Hero’s imposter and Borrachio. Enraged, Claudio announces her misconduct at their wedding. Backed by the prince and his brother, the fact is generally accepted. Hero faints with grief that her fiancée would accuse her of something so grievous. Convinced of Hero’s innocence, Leanato adopts the friar’s idea of spreading false news that Hero died of grief, so that Claudio should be made to love her again in mourning. Overcome by anguish and guilt for causing Hero’s demise, Claudio accepts the hand of Hero\'s look-alike, one of Leonato\'s nieces as reparation for his actions. When the Hero look-alike comes forth her true identity (Hero herself) is revealed to Claudio, and he realizes that his love for her is true. After discovering Hero’s innocence, Claudio finally sees her inner beauty.
Beatrice and Bene*censored* underestimate the tribulations which they could encounter, and as a result muddle their love affair. Claudio and Hero are not confident in their feelings or desires, and their lack of action muddled their relationship, and allowed trickery to interfere. When the characters failed to be secure in their own thoughts and beliefs, the basic trust that supported their relationships collapsed. Eventually, the characters succeed in learning to trust their feelings more than their observations; moreover, they consequently discover inward beauty in each other.