Quote in Context
Verges: If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it.
Watchman: How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
Dogberry: Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake
her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.
Verges: 'Tis very true.
Much Ado About Nothing (3.3)
Dogberry's ridiculous mistakes are, of course, amusing in their own right, but they also serve to underscore aspects of his personality which are themselves humorous: his self-importance and desire to impress. To the audience, his aspirations to rise above his class are comical because he fails so miserably. Dogberry is not even aware that he is failing and so it is safe for us to laugh. Dogberry's incongruous vocabulary becomes the primary comic relief in the play and provides an important contrast to the troubles encountered by Claudio and Hero. Read on...