In Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing, there are many different
subplots all taking place at the same time. There are several love
stories, trickeries, and deceptions. Of all of them, though, one conflict
stands above the rest — the slandering of Hero. Don John and his men set
up a plan so that Claudio will think Hero is unfaithful and therefore,
will not marry her. The plan works, but in the end, there is one man
responsible for everything getting straightened out — and that man is
Dogberry is the constable of Messina. He is a rather eccentric
man, and is among the lower class of people in the town. He is very
filthy and talks in a sort of gibberish so that no one can understand him.
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The other townspeople do not respect him, but just use him for his
information and then dismiss him. I think he deserves more respect simply
because he represents the law, not to mention he is greatly needed source
One night, Borachio is talking about the scheme they pulled off to
ruin the marriage of Hero and Claudio. Dogberrys men overhear Borachio
and arrest him. Meanwhile, Claudio and Don Pedro had wrecked Hero
physically and emotionally in front of the entire town and accused her of
being an unfaithful tramp. Dogberry questions Borachio and discovers that
he and Don John are the guilty parties. Dogberry goes and reports this
news to Leonato, but Leonato blows him off and tells him to go away.
Dogberry goes through the legal process and proves Borachio
guilty. He then brings him before Leonato and saves Heros name. Leonato
again treats Dogberry in a condescending manner and just uses him for his
information. Dogberry gets no thanks or appreciation even though he is
the true hero of the play. Without him, there would be no evidence to
prove Heros innocence and she would have been condemned for life.
Dogberry is the protector of Messina, but even though he serves
the upper-class, they treat him poorly. He is very different from most
people, but that should not make a difference. He should get even more
respect than the common man because he is a hero. He does not care,
though, he still goes about his job being the unsung hero.
It is interesting that such a small character can play such a
major role in the plot and outcome of a story. Dogberry goes unnoticed by
the reader as well as the other characters in the play. No one really
recognizes Dogberry as the hero of the story right away . . . but he