Much Ado About Nothing Character Review: Leonato

*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the William Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations. The only thing any good parent wants for their child is to be happy and satisfied. The curve in the road comes when said parent has archaic ideas about their offspring does not followed the preferred path.

In Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato, a wealthy landowner has one child, Hero. She is his heir and his whole world. He loves her and cares for her as any father should. Leonato has also in his care, his niece Beatrice. Unlike her cousin, Beatrice is not as pliant and more than willing to share her opinions.

When Hero gets engaged to Claudio, it seems that nothing will stand in the way of their happiness. But the wedding day does not go as planned. Accused of cheating on her fiancé at the altar, Hero faints and is assumed to be dead. When she wakes up, Leonato believes what has heard and gives her a verbal tongue lashing that is laced with disappointment and anger. He calms down when he is convinced that the accusations are nothing but lies.

Pretending that his child is dead, Leonato goes to Claudio and tells him that forgiveness will only come if he marries Beatrice. Claudio agrees, not knowing that his beloved is alive. The play ends with Hero “returning” to life and marrying Claudio, to the delight of Leonato and the rest of the characters.

To sum it up: In 2021, some would say that Leonato is has old fashioned ideas about men and women. Though it is obvious that he is a good father, he is part of a patriarchal society in which virginity is an unmarried woman’s most valuable asset. Even the hint of his daughter having sexual intercourse before saying “I do” is going to create all sorts of trouble. Though by the end of the play, all seems to be forgotten, this writer has to question why the men who condemned based Hero did not ask for forgiveness to the person they hurt the most.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Did T.I. Check if His Sons Are Still Virgins?

The inclination of a good parent is to protect their child from the evils of the world. But, at a certain point, protecting one’s child should be replaced by trusting that child and being able to have an honest conversation about difficult topics.

In music news, rapper T.I. has admitted that he goes to the gynecologist with his eighteen-year-old daughter to confirm that her hymen is still intact. In other words, he is checking if she is still a virgin. According to medical experts, having an intact hymen (or lack thereof) is not an indication of whether one is still a virgin.

There are so many things that are wrong with this story. Granted, his daughter is young and he is looking out for her. However, this story smacks of the idea that she is not a flesh and blood human being with dreams, faults, and ambitions. She is a thing to be owned. What also bothers me is that the two female hosts of the program did not call out T.I. on his sexist remarks.

I have to wonder if he took his sons to the doctor to confirm the same information. But then again, a boy’s sexuality is never questioned in the same way that a girl’s sexuality is questioned.

I’m not a parent, but I know enough to understand the difference between a concerned parent and a parent who crosses boundaries. This is clearly a case of crossing boundaries.

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