. In William Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing, there are many themes present and one of those is the theme of love. Philia, Eros, and Agape are the three types of love present in the play and are what represent the theme of love. These three types of love, Philia, Eros, and Agape are expressed by the different characters in the play. The expression of the theme of love in the play is not just there by accident; William Shakespeare put it in this comedic and romantic play with a purpose.
Philia is one of the three kinds of love expressed in the play. The type of love that Philia represents is a love in between friends and family, a love that is not sexual or romantic. In the play this kind of love is shown in between a few characters in the play, Benedick and Claudio, Don Pedro and Claudio, and Hero and Beatrice. (Act 2, scene 3, lines17-21, pg. 229) Benedick- (referring to Claudio) He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier- his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes.
Benedick is talking about Claudio and how he has fallen in love with Hero, he mentions how he’s not cut out for something like this but Claudio is the perfect guy for it, and how wonderful of a man Claudio is. The love in between friends is always crucial in a friendship because you know that other person will do many things for your well being and it is emphasized all throughout the play to show the reader that without some kind of love a friendship will fail. Eros is the second of the three types of love shown throughout the play.
It is the kind of love that is romantic, can be a fickle, and everything from a crush to a deep passion. The two characters in the play that share this kind of love are Hero and Claudio. (Act 1, scene 1, lines 155-188, pg. 221) Claudio- Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor Leonato? Benedick- I noted her not but I looked on her. Claudio- Is she not a modest young lady? Benedick- Do you question me as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment? Or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claudio- No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment. Benedick- Why, i’ faith, methinks she’s too low for a high praise, and too little for a great praise. Only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome, and being no other but as she is, I do not like her. Claudio- In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on. Benedick- But I hope you have no intent to turn husband, have you? Claudio- I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
In this conversation with Benedick, Claudio expresses the way he feels towards hero after laying eyes upon her for the first time and would like nothing more than to be married to such a woman. He knows what he feels when he sees her but he asks for Benedick’s opinion of her to see if his good friend approves of her but Benedick doesn’t sound too fond of Hero and Claudio’s feelings towards her. (Act 2, scene 1, lines 282-297, pg. 227) Don Pedro- I’ faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true, though I’ll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false.
Here, Claudio, I have wooed in the name, and fair Hero is won. I have broke with her father and his good will be obtained. Name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy. Leonato- Count, take of me my daughter and with her my fortunes. His Grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it. Claudio- Silence is the perfectest herald of joy, I were but little happy if I could say how much! – Lady, as you are mine, I am yours. I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange. Beatrice- Speak, cousin, or if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let not him speak neither. Claudio and Hero kiss] This is when Leonato, Hero’s father, accepts to give Hero as Claudio’s wife and companion. Eros is an important type of love but it isn’t the most strong of loves, although it isn’t the strongest it plays an important role in the play since Hero and Claudio are on and off throughout the play and shows that love can happen through the ups and downs. Agape is the third of the three types of love in the play. This type of love is the kind of love that cannot fail under any circumstances and it is the highest form of love which can include self sacrifice for the other person and religious connotations.
Although this form of love may show resentment towards the other person at the end of the day that love will be stronger than ever and will just keep growing by the day. Benedick and Beatrice are the characters who express this type of love the best. (Act 1, scene 1, lines 128-135, pg. 142) Benedick- God keep your ladyship still in that mind! So some gentlemen or other shall scape a predestinate scratched face. Beatrice- Scratching could not make it worse an ‘twere such a face as yours were. Benedick- Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
Beatrice- A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours. Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in one of their many fights but they seem to never cause them to end, this is due to the fact that they hold the strongest type of love. It shows throughout the play that there is that kind of bond which can exist between two people that can’t ever be broken. Most of the characters in the play have a certain role and most of them have a special bond with another person and share one of the three types of love.
Some characters share the love of friendship, philia, others share a romantic love, eros, but only a few have the privilege of sharing the highest form of love, agape. Shakespeare wants his readers to know one thing about love, he wants them to know that it does exist for everyone and that there can be a love so great that it is almost impossible to be broken. Love can make a person feel like nothing can go wrong, it’s out there for you and for me, it can be found today, tomorrow or maybe even in 10 years but it’s out there, have you found love yet?