Much Ado About Nothing

by

William Shakespeare

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Much Ado About Nothing: Imagery 1 key example

Read our modern English translation.
Definition of Imagery
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines from Robert Frost's poem "After Apple-Picking" contain imagery that engages... read full definition
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines from Robert Frost's poem "After... read full definition
Imagery, in any sort of writing, refers to descriptive language that engages the human senses. For instance, the following lines... read full definition
Act 3, Scene 1
Explanation and Analysis:

In Act 3, Scene 1, Hero implements her side of the plot to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love. Her use of rich figurative language contributes to the motif of war. She instructs Margaret to bring Beatrice to the "bower," where she will overhear a staged conversation between Hero and Ursula in which they reveal that Benedick is already smitten with her.

Say that thou overheardst us,
And bid her steal into the pleachèd bower
Where honeysuckles ripened by the sun
Forbid the sun to enter, like favorites,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it. There will she hide her
To listen our purpose.

Hero's instructions contain a combination of rich nature imagery and the language of military betrayal: the honeysuckles are "proud," as if they're betraying their masters. This suggests that the "bower" is a site of both romance and subterfuge. By comparing the honeysuckles in the bowers to "favorites," Hero also alludes to Benedick's comment in Act 1, Scene 1: "Then is courtesy a turncoat." Like a turncoat, Hero suggests, Beatrice's present opposition to marriage could betray her.