Loyal - Arrogant - Oblivious
When asked how to act when they obtain a thief, Dogberry replies, "truly, by your office, you may, but I think they that touch pitch and will be defiled. The most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal out of you company." Dogberry shows he wants to catch scoundrels in his town so he can protect the Prince and the towns people without violence. This reveals that he does not want others to see him as savage and threatening but rather as a respectable authority figure. This is shown again and again by his tone when he talks to his watchmen because he bosses them around; Dogberry shows pride in his job and position. Furthermore, he is also envious of the Prince because of his power and would like to be treated similarly to him, as shown in the scene with Leonato when he was looked down on. Dogberry craves power and respect, so he tries to clean the streets of thieves; however, he is also motivated by doing good for his community.
Through out the movie, Dogberry is shown as a ridiculous and dirty character with oily hair and raggedy clothes, but he repeatedly shows that he can be persistent in revealing the truth, solving crimes, and catching bad guys. Dogberry gallops around the town pretending to be on a horse revealing he wants people to acknowledge his importance in the community and that he is important enough to have a horse, such as the prince and his soldiers. Towards the end of he book, Dogberry says, "Moreover, sir, which indeed is not black or white, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass. I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. " Dogberry believes he should be treated with the upmost respect and this quote shows that he was offended when he was looked down on. Nevertheless, Dogberry does think of himself more highly then what he truly is. Other characters in the play acknowledge him as a rambling idiot who does not know what they're talking about, but people do not talk about Dogberry because he is so irrelevant to their problems. However, he does bring up the crime committed by Borachio. Dogberry is very passionate about giving the antagonists their punishments. At the end of the play, Dogberry has changes internally when he realizes he solved a major crime for the safe town, making him more confident about himself, yet Leonato and the Prince still offers him money to leave their presence because they did not change their opinion about him.
Impacts on Plot and Theme
When Dogberry's men found out about Conrad and Borachio's evil plan, they reported it straight to Dogberry. He then tries to inform Leonato of the crime, but he does not believe or trust Dogberry and dismisses him by telling Dogberry to question the criminals themselves. Because of this, Claudio falsely accuses Hero of having sex before marriage in front of the whole town and ruins Hero's reputation, leading her to fake her death. Dogberry helps reveal that Claudio and Hero's is eros, because it is based on physical attraction and not friendship or trust; Claudio did not care about Hero's opinion or feeling about the accusation. Even though Dogberry unintentionally causes this, as he interviews Borachio and Conrad, he finds out that Don John had planned to ruin Claudio and Hero's wedding. He then informs Claudio and Don Pedro of the false accusations, and Claudio regrets his actions. He agrees to marry Hero's cousin out of guilt and for the punishment of ruining her reputation, but her cousin ended up to be Hero. Without Dogberry, Claudio would not have been able to find the truth and marry Hero. Dogberry preserves Claudio and Hero's eros love.