The Death of Hero’s Virtue

This illustration depicts the difference in treatment of Hero and of her virtue/honor. Those things are placed before her previous displays of honesty and her pleas that she is innocent. They are also placed before the importance of her life, as Leonato tells her to not live because her name and honor are ruined. Here, Hero does not have her own tombstone, only a sign that points to her remains, while her honor receives far more attention by the men in her life. There is a wilted rose next to it, emphasizing how much grief had towards the loss of her virtue than the loss of her life. In the play, the idea of virtue and status is more valued than individual lives; no matter what Don John does, he will always be reduced to a bastard; had Hero’s name not been cleared, this would have followed her in spite of events prior or since the blotching of her name.