Don John: Come, let us to the banquet
[Exeunt all but Claudio]
Claudio: Thus answer 1 in name of Benedick,
But hear this ill news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so; the prince woos for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love. Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues. Let every eye negotiate for itself, And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I Mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero.
Benedick: Count Claudio?
Claudio: Yea, the same.
(i) Where are the speakers? Describe Claudio's state of mind?
(ii) What has Don John just revealed to Claudio?
(iii) Explain the lines:
"Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues.
Let every eye negotiate for itself,
And trust no agent;"
(iv) How does Don John succeed in conveying his thoughts to Claudio? What is his intention in doing so?
(v) Why is 'beauty' said to be a 'witch'? Which aspect of Claudio is seen here?
(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage: ill; save; office;
The speakers are in the banquet. Claudio earlier was against marriage but later after seeing Hero, his mind changed. He announced that he takes his oath back if Hero will have him.
Don John reveals that he actually feels quite hurt by society's treatment. He tries to carry out some kind of mischief when he learns that Claudio is a husband -to - be, he became inflamed with anger and desires, even more, to enact rain on the marriage by saying wrong things about Hero to Claudio.
The above lines mean that love has its own language & every heart that is in love uses its own language to communicate with each other. People who love each other will find all the possible ways to be together & they won’t trust anybody else.
Don John had an evil mind existing against Claudio as he had defeated him in the war which ended just before the onset of the play. He thought to do mischief to take his revenge from Claudio and decided to rain the marriage of Claudio & Hero. Later, his emotions shifted from carrying out mere mischief to intending pure malice.
Claudio said ‘beauty’ to be a ‘witch’ because beauty can inspire even faithful friends to obey their passion over their duty to their friends.
ill - bad
save - keep safe
office - position