Sorting Hat Saturday: Much Ado About Nothing

As I mentioned on my book blog, I spent Spring Break reading Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing … which naturally means I’ve picked out Hogwarts houses for the characters.

Beatrice: Ravenclaw/Gryffindor. Both witty and fearless, Beatrice could easily fit into either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. On the one hand, she and Benedick spend most of the play exchanging witty insults. They’re the only ones who can keep up with each other, and that kind of verbal sparring requires a lot of intelligence. But on the other hand, she also shows a lot of courage, both in ignoring social norms for how a woman at the time was supposed to behave, and in standing up for her cousin.

Benedick: Ravenclaw/Gryffindor. He’s as much of a hyper-intelligent verbal warrior as Beatrice. While his true courage takes longer to show, it’s there. In fact, I’m leaning toward Gryffindor with him even more than with Beatrice. It would be so easy for him to side with Claudio, but he believes Beatrice and stands up for Hero, showing that he’s someone who will choose what’s right. “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”

Hero: Hufflepuff. In Shakespeare, it’s pretty typical for feisty, independent, intelligent heroines to have a foil character in a relative or friend who’s sweet and kind, but very ordinary by comparison. Rosalind and Celia. Hermia and Helena. Kate and Bianca. Beatrice and Hero. The second girl in those pairs is almost always a Hufflepuff.

Claudio: Slytherin. A Gryffindor would be outraged, but not so cruel or sneaky about it. A Ravenclaw would keep a clear head and think things through, and a Hufflepuff would be crushed, but would treat the other person fairly. Only a Slytherin could keep his silence until the wedding day and accuse his fiancée of cheating on him at the altar, in front of everyone. It’s not only a cruel and ruthless move, but one that requires careful planning and shows that he’s thinking about how to cause the most pain possible. If you can’t tell, I don’t forgive him.

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