Much Ado About Nothing

why might it be hard to believe that hero and claudio really love each other in the play Much Ado about nothing?

Much Ado about nothing

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Claudio actually forsakes Hero on nothing more than a rumor. Shakespeare highlights what some critics call the "Claudio Syndrome" which is the propensity for men to fall in and out of love. It would seem that many of Shakespeare’s male characters, like Claudio or Othello, suffer from a Madonna whore complex. They essentially see women as pure, virginal, and unattainable until they actually obtain or marry them: then the woman becomes the opposite. Clearly Claudio is initially smitten with Hero and she the like. Claudio's subsequent treatment of Hero certainly questions his love for her. If he really loved her, would he believe so readily rumor and innuendo? Would the remote possibility of being the dreaded cuckold destroy his love for her? Would Hero so readily forgive her mistreatment? Apparently the answer is yes to all these questions. Hero really doesn't have free will in this matter; she is expected, especially in a comedy, to forgive. This is Shakespeare's world. A man has a right to change the terms of his affections any time he wants. In this context, we might be inclined to believe that Claudio and Hero did love each other.