Fie, fie, they are not to be nam'd my lord, not to speak of, There is not chastity enough in language Without offence to utter them. Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
O, Hero! What a Hero hadst thou been If half thy outward graces had been plac'd About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart! But fare thee well, most foul, most fair; farewell Thou pure impiety and impious purity For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.
(i) Where are the speakers? What leads Claudio to speak in this manner?
(ii) What are the charges levelled against Hero by Don Pedro?
(iii) Explain the lines:
"What an I lero hadst thou been If half thy outward graces had been plac'd About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!"
(iv) What are the immediate reactions of Leonato and Hero to Claudio's words?
(v) What impressions do we form about Leonato in this scene?
(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage: misgovernment; impiety; conjecture
The speakers are in the banquet discussing. The information revealed by Don John made Claudio speak in this manner.
Don Pedro claimed that Hero was disloyal to Claudio. She was cheating on him and did all sinful acts.
The above lines mean that Hero would have equaled the mythical Hero if only half of her outward beauty matched her inner beauty, thoughts & desires.
Leonato cries out in despair, asking for a dagger with which to commit suicide. The overwhelmed Hero sinks to the ground, unconscious after listening to Claudio's words.
Leonato is at the center of events from beginning to end. He lets himself be guided rather easily by the ideas & opinions of others. He earlier agreed & said let Hero marry Don Pedro if he proposes. Later, she said to let her marry Claudio. When Hero was charged with all allegations by Don Pedro, he believed it. He may have greater faith in his own daughter & less respect for so-called nobles.
misgovernment - misbehavior
impiety - state of being impious or lack of respect
conjecture - opinion or judgment